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Chase-clinching scenarios at Indianapolis

Jimmie Johnson

The Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup doesn't begin until September, but several drivers have the opportunity to officially clinch a spot in the postseason field this weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

 

This weekend, the magic number for Sprint Cup Series drivers is 271 -- as in a driver 271 points ahead of 31st place in the standings following Sunday's race guarantees a spot in the top 30 of the standings, no matter what happens the rest of the regular season. To clinch an early Chase berth, a driver must have multiple wins and lock a top-30 spot.

 

Due to the tight standings, it's also possible for a driver to clinch if he exits Indy with fewer than a 271-point lead over 31st-place, but 271 is the magic number.

 

Brad Keselowski , Kyle Busch and Carl Edwards have already clinched spots in the Chase Grid.

 

Below are Chase-clinching scenarios for this weekend's races at Indianapolis:

 

Possible to Clinch:

 

Jimmie Johnson (2 wins, 514 points, +294 points ahead of 31st): The two-time 2016 winner just needs a top-30 spot to clinch a Chase berth.

 

Matt Kenseth (2 wins, 506 points, +286 points ahead of 31st): Last weekends's New Hampshire winner has multiple wins and just needs a top-30 spot to officially clinch.

 

Kevin Harvick (1 Win, 636 points, +416 points ahead of 31st): Harvick already has clinched his top-30 spot, but the only way he can clinch a Chase berth at this point is by being a multi-race winner. He'll need a win at Indianapolis to officially clinch a spot in the Chase.

 

Kurt Busch (1 win, 601 points, +382 points ahead of 31st): Can clinch with a win.

 

Joey Logano (1 win, 571 points, +351 points ahead of 31st): Can clinch with a win.

 

Martin Truex Jr (1 win, 540 points, +320 points ahead of 31st): Can clinch with a win.

Denny Hamlin (1 win, 505 points, +285 points ahead of 31st): Can clinch with a win.

 

NASCAR XFINITY SERIES CHASE

 

The magic number for XFINITY Series drivers was 361. As in, a driver 361 points ahead of 31st place clinched a top-30 spot in the standings. Erik Jones had already locked up a spot in the NASCAR XFINITY Series Chase before Indianapolis.

 

Clinched:

Daniel Suarez (1 Win, 608 Points, +510 Points Ahead of 31st): Suarez finished seventh at Indianapolis and clinched after a Chase-eligible driver did not win on Saturday.
 
Elliott Sadler (1 Win, 594 Points, +496 Points Ahead of 31st): Although he missed out on the Dash 4 Cash prize by one spot, Sadler's sixth-place finish at Indianapolis was enough to clinch a Chase berth.

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