Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup clinch scenarios
July 31, 2014, Staff report, NASCAR.com
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Drivers with multiple wins and who cannot fall out of the top 30 in points have clinched a spot in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, assuming they attempt to qualify for the remaining races. After Indianapolis, six fit this category.
Jeff Gordon (who earned his second win last Sunday), Jimmie Johnson, Carl Edwards and Joey Logano all locked up spots at Indianapolis, assuming they attempt to qualify for the remaining six regular-season races. They joined Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Brad Keselowski, who both clinched a Chase spot in New Hampshire.
Matt Kenseth has clinched a top-30 spot, but is not yet guaranteed a Chase spot, as he remains winless.
At Pocono Raceway in Sunday's GoBowling.com 400, the following drivers with wins this season can clinch a Chase spot by completing the pairing of mulitple wins and a clinched top-30 spot: Kevin Harvick, Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch and Aric Almirola.
Harvick's two wins mean he needs only to clinch a top-30 spot. He needs to score only eight points at Pocono to do so -- and that's if 31st-place David Gilliland wins and leads the most laps. Busch has clinched a top-30 spot, but needs another win to clinch a Chase spot. Hamlin has yet to clinch a top-30 spot. He would clinch with a win and some help in the points standings.
Almirola would need to win this weekend to clinch, and have good luck in the points standings to also lock up a top-30 spot.
The magic number for a top-30 clinch: 241. Any driver 241 points ahead of 31st place leaving Pocono will clinch a top-30 points position.