List of the Week: Bottom Half Chasers
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There’s only 6 races to go before we make it to Richmond, and then, after that 7th race is over, we’ll know once and for all who’s in and who’s out of the 2008 Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship. Historically speaking – since they first turned to the Chase format a few years ago – those who were in at this point in the season have typically stayed in, and those who were out have typically stayed out ….. but, this season could be one that breaks all the rules. While I think it’s safe to assume that Kyle Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr, Jeff Burton, Carl Edwards, Jimmie Johnson, and Jeff Gordon – the top-six in points – are all in, I can’t speak of spots 7 through 12 with the same level of certainty. Only 133 points separates 7th place Greg Biffle from 15th place David Ragan, and only 245 points separates 12th place Denny Hamlin to 18th place Kurt Busch.
That means that there’s six teams currently sitting outside of the Chase that I still believe it’s too early to count out of it, and that gives you 12 teams vying for those final 6 spots. That, of course, is the inspiration for this week’s “List of the Week”. Here’s who I say makes in 7th through 12th by the end of Richmond:
(*Note – I’m not going to move anyone out of the top-six any higher than sixth heading into the Chase, though I think they will be)
7th – Matt Kenseth
8th – Tony Stewart
9th – Greg Biffle
10th – Kevin Harvick
11th – Brian Vickers
12th – Clint Bowyer
This puts both Kasey Kahne and Denny Hamlin out of the top-12 where both currently sit, and also shuts the door on David Ragan, Ryan Newman, Martin Truex Jr, and Kurt Busch.