In addition to his two wins, Harvick has 10 (10!) runner-up finishes in 2015. Imagine for a second -- if even half of those resulted in wins, the champ could've been rolling into the Chase with at least seven wins. The momentum he’s got built up ain't too shabby.
MORE: Harvick nabs 10th 2015 runner-up finish
Logano has now won two of the past three races, his victories coming at two of NASCAR's toughest tracks in Watkins Glen and Bristol. Sure seems like he'll be battling at least Kevin Harvick at Homestead in November.
MORE: Never too early to talk Homestead
|-1||1/NR||8th||Busch led 192 laps but came away with just an eighth-place finish. Overall a good race -- he showed how dominant he can be, but stayed cautious enough to avoid trouble.|
Dale Earnhardt Jr
Earnhardt has been consistently fast all summer, and win No. 3 feels imminent, despite overall performance woes at Hendrick. Junior makes a good sleeper pick to earn his first Southern 500 win -- and just think how much that would mean to him.
MORE: Junior reveals Darlington throwback
|----||3/8||6th||Keselowski is about as supportive a teammate as they come, but don't think for a second he isn't well aware of the fact that Joey Logano has three wins to his one.|
|+2||1/9||4th||Over the weekend Johnson acknowledged he knows full well that his No. 48 team tends to dip in the summer. He responded with his first top five since Daytona.|
|-1||5/14||42nd||Two wins in the three races ahead of Bristol and a win at the Last Great Colosseum earlier this year certainly makes Kenseth's engine failure a little more palatable for him.|
Martin Truex Jr
|-1||2/19||28th||With an average finish of 20.89 stretching back to Sonoma, Truex is due for a solid run. The low-downforce package would seem to play into his favor at Darlington, but it's tough to tell if it'll benefit him enough -- he's only managed three top 10s in nine starts there.|
|+1||5/13||3rd||With his third-place finish, Hamlin showed his short track chops are still finely-tuned. Those will come in handy sometime around November 1.|
|-1||3/NR||14th||Busch isn't running poorly enough to worry just yet, but it does seem that he's lacking the speed he had earlier in the season.|
|----||7/17||7th||Edwards continues to be a top performer at Bristol -- just like he is at Darlington. No, he's never won the Southern 500, but he's also finished outside the top 10 just four times in 11 starts.|
|----||7/16||11th||Remember how fast McMurray was at times during the Chase last year -- despite not being in it? It's hard to envision him not being in the postseason this time around, and his consistency might help him make some noise.|
|+2||6/16||10th||Newman's No. 31 Chevrolet hasn’t been the fastest of the bunch by any means, but it's easy to say it has been as consistent as they come.|
Many dreams were crushed when fans realized Gordon wouldn't be wheeling his No. 24 throwback rainbow paint scheme Chevy to Victory Lane in its final go-about, but bigger issues remain. Gordon is in dangerous territory. Like, 15th-in-the-Chase-Grid-out-of-16-drivers dangerous territory.
MORE: Leo Gordon gets behind the wheel
As poor of shape that Jeff Gordon is in, his teammate, Kasey Kahne is in even worse shape. The No. 5 driver wouldn't even make the Chase if it started today.
MORE: Chase Bubble: Who’s in, out?
|-3||13/NR||24th||Menard is still in a good position, but a 24th-place finish at Bristol ahead of one of his worst tracks in Darlington (no top 10s) doesn't bode well for him.|
A win at Bristol amid everything that is ongoing at Michael Waltrip Racing would've been the ultimate for Bowyer, but a top five is almost as good.
MORE: NASCAR addresses MWR situation
|-1||15/NR||17th||Almirola knows he's only been getting top-15 cars from his race shop -- and has been fulfilling that for the most part -- but he also knows he'll need faster rides to compete in the Chase.|
|+1||17/NR||13th||Dillon has really shown his strength for most of the past nine races and he's coming along well -- at just the right time.|
|-1||14/NR||41st||Larson, on the other hand, is struggling badly and doesn't look bound for the Chase for the second time in his two Sprint Cup Series seasons.|