There’s a different vibe leading up to the Chase for the Championship in NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series this year. The wild card factor in which the final two drivers qualify for The Chase is making things downright…wild.
This year, the top ten drivers in the points standings following the 26th race of the season qualify for The Chase. But two other drivers, which have the most victories this season as long as they are ranked among the top 20 in the points standings will join them.
With one victory, a driver can vault himself from having a mid-pack season one where he has a shot at NASCAR’s playoff format. And as we’ve seen with Jimmie Johnson, once you are in The Chase, anything can happen!
As The Chase gets closer, drivers will likely become more desperate for a win, and that path will roar directly through Atlanta Motor Speedway on Labor Day Weekend in the AdvoCare 500!
Brad Keselowski’s win last weekend at Pocono not only showed his toughness, but also demonstrated how badly drivers want to win races. With his win, Keselowski is now within reach of a Chase spot, but he is also 18th in points, meaning he cannot afford a bad race during the next few weeks.
Recent wins by Paul Menard and David Ragan give them a shot a The Chase, but with each of them having just one win, a second victory may be needed, meaning Atlanta may very be a must-win race for both of them. The same goes for the likes of Denny Hamlin, who has one win this season but may need another to buy some breathing room.
Add in drivers in the top 20 without a win including Mark Martin, Kasey Kahne, Joey Logano, Clint Bowyer and Greg Biffle, and you have a cluster of drivers that may very well need to win the AdvoCare 500 in order to qualify for The Chase.
A degree of high drama is already in store for fans at the AdvoCare 500 on Labor Day Weekend. Thanks to NASCAR’s points system, it could end up being one wild night!