Clinch Scenarios For Richmond
Jamie McMurray will lock up his first career Chase berth simply by starting the race on Saturday night. For three others, it’s a little tougher – but certainly doable. Ryan Newman clinches by finishing 31st or better; Jeff Gordon by finishing 17th or better; and Paul Menard by finishing ninth or better – and that’s all regardless of who wins the race. If there’s a repeat winner, the scenarios become less daunting. For winless drivers beyond Menard, there will be some frayed nerves. If there’s a repeat winner, Clint Bowyer is in good shape, needing only a finish of 28th or better. For those winless drivers lower in points than Bowyer, a Richmond win is realistically the only path to the Chase.
Here’s a full look at the Chase clinch scenarios for Saturday night’s race:
Regardless of who wins at Richmond…
Jamie McMurray clinches by starting the race.
Ryan Newman clinches by finishing 31st or better; 32nd with at least one lap led; or 33rd with the most laps led.
Jeff Gordon clinches by finishing 17th or better; 18th with at least one lap led; or 19th with the most laps led.
Paul Menard clinches by finishing ninth or better; 10th with at least one lap led; or 11th with the most laps led.
If there is a repeat winner…
Jamie McMurray, Ryan Newman and Jeff Gordon will clinch regardless of finish.
Paul Menard clinches by finishing 38th or better; 39th with at least one lap led; or 40th with the most laps led.
Clint Bowyer clinches by finishing 28th or better; 29th with at least one lap led; or 30th with the most laps led.
Four drivers control their Chase destiny without a win: Jamie McMurray, Ryan Newman, Jeff Gordon and Paul Menard).
Three drivers can clinch without a win, but need help in the form of poor finishes from winless drivers ahead of them in points and/or a repeat winner: Bowyer, Aric Almirola and Kasey Kahne.
Twelve drivers need to win to clinch a Chase spot: Greg Biffle, Kyle Larson, Austin Dillon, AJ Allmendinger, Casey Mears, Danica Patrick, Tony Stewart, David Ragan, Sam Hornish Jr., Trevor Bayne, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Justin Allgaier.
Two other drivers need to win and receive help to clinch a spot: Cole Whitt and David Gilliland.
All other drivers have been eliminated from Chase contention.