Power Rankings – Race To The Chase – Indianapolis

With seven races to go, we are going to watch the Chase contenders and discuss who is in, on the bubble and out of the 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup Chase for the Championship. After a week off, the NASCAR stars return to race at the historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the Brickyard 400.

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email. Power Rankings – Race For The Chase
Kyle Busch ? Kyle is pretty close to locking himself in the Chase 12. He has a 625 point lead over Clint Bowyer in 13th, and it would take a disasterous streak to see him drop out of the top 12. His seven wins so far give him a great point lead when the Chase begins.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. ? Dale has a good lead over 13th as well and should be setting himself up to return to the Chase for the Championship after missing the cut last year.

Jeff Burton ? Burton has been slipping lately and not getting those top 10 finishes that he had been racking up earlier in the year. While he still has a bit of a cushion, a few bad race finishes could drop him into the pool of sharks swimming just below him in the standings. The Brickyard 400, not a make or break race, should still provide a clue to which way Jeff is going.

Carl Edwards ? Carl is running well and should add to his win total, giving him bonus points for the Chase. Remember, Carl’s win at Las Vegas was penalized and he receives bonus points only for his wins at California and Texas.

Jimmie Johnson ? Jimmie had an awesome year last year. In comparison, this year has been not so good. But, he is fifth in the points and his one win puts him tied for fourth for when the Chase starts. Another win, a strong possibility at Indy, would put him into a tie for second.

Jeff Gordon ? Standing on the edge of the shark tank below, Gordon is still looking for that first win of the season. He has a 128 point lead over 13th, a lead that could vanish in just one bad race.

Greg Biffle ? Here is the leader of the sharks. With a 62 point lead over 13th and a 35 point lead over 12th, being currently in 7th is not a comfortable position for Biffle. Some of the magic from earlier in the year seems to have faded, although a top five a Chicagoland two weeks ago could be a sign that the magic may have returned

Matt Kenseth ? Just one point behind teammate Biffle, Kenseth has made a great run to get back into the Chase 12. Now he needs to continue that run and get out of the shark pool.

Kevin Harvick ? Harvick has been playing on the bottom of the Chase 12 for a while now. Indy could give him the shot to solidify his position in the Chase. Right now he is only a DNF away from dropping out.

Tony Stewart ? Stewart is set to announce his sponsors and car numbers for next season at Indianapolis. Figuring out that second driver’s name would go a long way to him getting back on track this season. Tony loves Indy and a win or top five would go a long way to helping him in the points.

Kasey Kahne ? Kahne is in a good position once he gets in the Chase with his bonus points from two wins this season. All he needs to do is get in the Chase. He is a very scary 39 points ahead of 13th, enough said.

Denny Hamlin ? Currently on the bubble, Hamlin is 27 points ahead of 13th. This season has been a rollercoaster of results for Denny. Just when you think he is ready to make a run, a finish like the one at Chicagoland (40th) drops him back in the pack.

Clint Bowyer ? Clint is on the outside and looking in. Only 27 points out has to give him hop of returning to the Chase. The fact that drivers behind him are 70+ points back gives him a bit of a cushion, but there is no looking back now – it’s time to go.

Brian Vickers ? This season has been a huge improvement from last year but you know Vickers wants to get his Toyota in the Chase. It will take some misteps from the teams in front of him and Brian will need to be there to capitalize.

David Ragan ? Ragan made it into the top twelve a few weeks back but has slipped slowly backwards since. This team can put it together and get back in. Being 98 points out of the Chase twelve, a top ten at the Brickyard is a requirement.

Ryan Newman ? Disapointing would be the word when you look here and see the Daytona 500 winner. In 2004, Mark Martin made a charge from 192 points back at this point in the season to make the top ten. It will take that kind of run from Newman to make up his 189 point distance to get to 12th.

Martin Truex Jr. ? With a 233 point defecit to 12th, you would have to say that Truex is out. And, you can look at the 150 point Daytona penalty as the reason why. It would take an unbelievable run for Truex to make the Chase. Add in the uncertainty at DEI and a Chase for the Championship run is highly unlikely.

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