News & Media


Top four in standings can clinch Chase berths

August 15, 2012, Official Release, NASCAR.com

Separated by just two points, Matt Kenseth, Greg Biffle and Jimmie Johnson could all leave MIS with '12 Chase berths. (Autostock)

Keselowski can also clinch with first victory at home track and a lot of help

Sunday's Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan gives four competitors the opportunity to clinch one of the 10 eligible spots in the 2012 Chase for the Sprint Cup. The current top four in the standings -- Jimmie Johnson, Greg Biffle, Matt Kenseth and Dale Earnhardt Jr. -- can lock themselves into the postseason by leaving Michigan with a lead of at least 145 points over the 11th-place driver with three races remaining in the Race to the Chase.

Currently, Johnson is in front of 11th-place Kasey Kahne by 124 points, Biffle leads Kahne by 123, Kenseth by 122 and Earnhardt Jr. by 107. Biffle, who trails Johnson by a single point, is the only one of the four failing to make the Chase a year ago.

Johnson can also lock up at least a wild card berth with a win on Sunday -- which could prove a tall task. Michigan is one of five active Cup Series tracks at which Johnson has yet to win (Watkins Glen, Chicagoland, Homestead and Kentucky are the others).

Brad Keselowski, who like Johnson has three wins, could mathematically lock up at least a wild card spot with a win, but only if the following scenario plays out:

Ryan Newman scores four points or less AND Kyle Busch scores 10 or less AND Jeff Gordon scores 14 or less AND Paul Menard scores 19 or less AND Carl Edwards scores two or more.

Tony Stewart, also with three victories, cannot officially lock up a wild card spot with a victory.