NASCAR & Auto Racing

On the Bubble: The Race Within the Race

Four drivers appear headed to the wire for the final two spots in the Chase. Kurt Busch is the hottest, finishing no lower than 11th in the past four races. Compare their past four performances and their average at the next four tracks:

Martin Truex Jr.

TODAY'S START: 14



Past  Chi  Indy  Poc  Glen
Four  39  12  22  6




Next  Mich  Bris  Calif  Rich
Four  16  31  25  36.3


Kurt Busch

TODAY'S START: 15



Past  Chi  Indy  Poc  Glen
Four  6  11  1  11




Next  Mich  Bris  Calif  Rich
Four  20.3  15.2  11.5  18.8


Ryan Newman

TODAY'S START: 34



Past  Chi  Indy  Poc  Glen
Four  8  42  7  13




Next  Mich  Bris  Calif  Rich
Four  16.7  21.4  17.3  11.1


Dale Earnhardt Jr.

TODAY'S START: 39



Past  Chi  Indy  Poc  Glen
Four  19  34  2  42




Next  Mich  Bris  Calif  Rich
Four  17.6  12.1  21.2  10.1


The Contenders

Jeff Gordon has clinched his spot in this year's Chase for the Nextel Cup. The real battle is to make the cut, with four races left before the top 12 drivers in the standings qualify for the 10-race championship battle. Here's how things stand going into today's 3M Performance 400 at Mi Chigan International Speedway:



Pos.Driver  Starts today
1. Jeff Gordon  1
Points: 3,384
2. Denny Hamlin  8
Points: 3,040 (-344)
3. Matt Kenseth  21
Points: 2,952 (-432)
4. Tony Stewart  35
Points: 2,939 (-445)
5. Carl Edwards  13
Points: 2,824 (-560)
6. Jeff Burton  19
Points: 2,806 (-578)
7. Jimmie Johnson  7
Points: 2,789 (-595)
8. Kyle Busch  6
Points: 2,757 (-627)
9. Clint Bowyer  9
Points: 2,667 (-717)
10. Kevin Harvick  28
Points: 2,655 ((-729)
11. Martin Truex Jr.  14
Points: 2,587 (-797)
12. Kurt Busch  15
Points: 2,529 (-855)


4 Races Left

The Chase for the Nextel Cup will begin Sept. 16 at New Hampshire International Speedway. Here are the four races left before the Chase:



Date Place
Today Michigan
Time, TV: 1 p.m. ESPN
Aug. 25 Bristol
Time, TV: 7 p.m. ESPN
Sept. 2 California
Time, TV: 7 p.m. ESPN
Sept. 8 Richmond
Time, TV: 7 p.m. ABC


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