NASCAR America: Who will advance?

Dan Beaver
NBC Sports

Joey Logano is locked into the championship four with his Martinsville win. Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr. hold their destiny in their hands with a 28- and 25-point cushion over the cutoff line entering this week’s race at ISM Raceway (2:30 p.m. ET on NBC).

The bottom five drivers in the points are most likely battling for the one remaining berth and NASCAR America analysts Kyle Petty, Nate Ryan and Carolyn Manno broke down their chances in Thursday’s edition of the show.

Kevin Harvick
Nine wins, 15 top fives in 31 starts

Petty believes Harvick will win this weekend: “I don’t see anything changing just because they had a penalty, just because they got 40 points off, just because Rodney Childers is not going to be there. They’re going to overcome all that.”

Kurt Busch
One win, seven top fives in 31 starts

“If you look at Kurt Busch, maybe people were writing him off before these penalties came down, but he has a real chance here now,” said Manno.

Chase Elliott
Best finish of second (fall 2017), two top fives in five starts

“I am optimistic that maybe he could win,” Ryan said. “After Harvick, I would probably put him next among drivers who could win at Phoenix. He ran really well there last year. He’s run well there historically.”

Aric Almirola
Best finish of seventh (spring 2018), three top 10s in 15 starts

“I think everything is gravy right now for this team,” said Ryan. “I don’t they expected to be in the Round of 8. If they make it through, great. If they don’t, it’s still his best season in Cup.”

Clint Bowyer
Best finish of second (spring 2018), two top fives in 6 starts

“As disappointed as he was walking out of Texas, his last comment was ‘We’ll go get ’em.’ … They have the simplest path. They know they can’t point their way in. They know there’s no hope for them any other way except to go out and outrun everybody.”

For more, watch the video above.

Follow Dan Beaver on Twitter

What to Read Next