Track Blog

Sizing up the Chase to Atlanta

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Two races remain until the Pep Boys Auto 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, a race that will be key for drivers hoping to qualify for the Chase...

Here's a look at the drivers either looking to hang onto their spots in the top 12 of the points standings or sneak into one the Chase for the Championship positions.

7th Place: Juan Montoya - Another good run at Watkins Glen improved Montoya's chances of qualifying for the Chase. He's currently 154 points ahead of 13th-place Kyle Busch.

8th Place: Kasey Kahne - Kahne dropped a position as a result of his finish at Watkins Glen, putting him 127 points ahead of 13th place Kyle Busch. Atlanta's placement on the schedule could work to Kahne's advantage given his history at AMS that includes winning the 2006 spring race.

9th Place: Ryan Newman - Has been solid all year, but might have to get up on wheel when Atlanta comes around in order to cement his position in the Chase.

10th Place: Greg Biffle - Certainly helped his chances of making the Chase with a 5th place finish at Watkins Glen. He's got to feel good about his chances with one of his better tracks, Michigan, coming up combined with seven top ten finishes in 13 races at Atlanta. But if he slips up, Kyle Busch is sitting in 13th place chomping at the bit.

11th Place: Mark Martin - Slipped a spot in the points standings as a result of finishing 23rd at Watkins Glen. He's got a great chance to rally back, however, with Michigan (where he won in June) and Atlanta (where he started on the pole in March) coming up.

12th Place: Matt Kenseth - He's on the threshold of missing the Chase, just 58 points ahead of 13th-place Kyle Busch. He'll need some strong finishes in the next few weeks, especially at Atlanta to keep his position in the top 12.

13th Place: Kyle Busch - Speaking of Kyle Busch, he closed in on getting into the Chase by finishing fourth at Watkins Glen. But with him needing to gain ground on the likes of Martin, Biffle and Kenseth, Busch will need to run very well and need some drivers in front of him to slip up. He's currently 58 points out of the top 12.

14th Place: Brian Vickers - Vickers is in position to possibly sneak into the Chase, 96 points out of 12th. To get in, he needs to do two things - run well and have some drivers in front of him have problems. That may call for him to get more aggressive than usual at upcoming races at Michigan, Bristol and Atlanta. 

Featured Event