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.
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.
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.
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.