The ten-race NASCAR Sprint Cup Chase playoffs have eight races to go and already, the field is trimming itself down. Who will win? That remains to be seen but as far as those who are about to lose any chance at winning the championship - well, let's just say some of them need a hail mary pass in the corner of the Seahawks end zone and hope the rent-a-ref gives them the catch.
In other words, there are some teams that need to win and win and win some more to have a shot at the Cup title in 2012. So let's take a quick look at the bottom half of the Chase point standings and see who's likely out … or soon to be.
7. Dale Earnhardt Jr. - Junior is included in the list because one, he has six drivers ahead of him who look strong and two, he's had five finishes outside the Top 10 over the last eight events. That's not showing the consistent Top 10 ability he exhibited during the regular season. He can rebound but needs some top fives like right now.
8. Kevin Harvick - Happy showed the capacity to finish well but that won't get you championships and he hasn't demonstrated the ability to win or grab top fives this season. I think the Californian is all but done at this juncture and will have to wait until next year to be happy.
9. Greg Biffle - The Biff did so well during the regular season, holding onto the top spot for many weeks, but his showing recently has been unimpressive. He has only five Top 10s over the past 12 races which doesn't bode well for title consideration.
10. Martin Truex Jr. - #56's inability to win races this year or even make a regular appearance in the top five has made his chances at winning the championship almost nil.
11. Matt Kenseth - Special K had a special year going … until he announced he would depart Roush-Fenway at the end of the season. Since then, his ability to run in the front pack has gone the way of his chances at winning a second Cup title. Kenseth will have to try again next year with Joe Gibbs Racing.
12. Jeff Gordon - The meteoric rise and fall season of Gordon in 2012 has seen had more ups and downs than Gordon has nicknames - and that's a lot. When you're a four-time champ, you end up with all kinds of monikers like Big Daddy, Flash Gordon, Rainbow Warrior, The Kid and Wonder Boy. He'll need more wins than he has nicknames if he wants another Cup title … which is highly unlikely.
Sources - NASCAR, Racing Reference
Daryle has been involved in motorsports most of his life and has three decades of experience inside racemarketing, plus for several years has blogged about every type of racing.
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