Wednesday, December 7, 2016
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NASCAR Cup: making the Chase — standings after Pocono
Amanda Vincent is responsible for this content, which is not edited by the Wilson County News or wilsoncountynews.com.
Chris Buescher’s win Monday in the rain-delayed, fog-shortened Pennsylvania 400 at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pa., completed task one to get into the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship post-season. Task two for Buescher is getting into the top-30 of the points standings. Right now, he’s 31st in the standings, but just six points outside the top-30. David Ragan holds down the 30th spot after Pocono. With 21 of 26 regular-season races in the history book, Buescher has five races to crack the top-30 to make his win count and get him into the 16-driver, 10-race Chase.
Should Buescher get into the top-30, and therefore, get into the Chase, he’ll be one of two drivers outside the current top-16 in points to get into the championship postseason. Tony Stewart, the winner at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway in June is 27th in points after missing the first eight races of the season.
With Stewart all but in the Chase and Buescher close to being in, the window is closing on the number of winless drivers in the top-16 of the standings who will garner a Chase berth. If Buescher doesn’t crack the top-30 by the September race at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway, the top-15 in points will get in. If he does, only the top-14 will make it into the Chase.
Here’s a look at the standings after Monday’s race at Pocono, including drivers all but locked into the Chase and a few others close to getting in:
1. Brad Keselowski (4 wins)
1. Kyle Busch (4 wins)
3. Carl Edwards (2 wins)
3. Jimmie Johnson (2 wins)
3. Matt Kenseth (2 wins)
6. Kevin Harvick (1 win)
6. Kurt Busch (1 win)
6. Joey Logano (1 win)
6. Martin Truex Jr. (1 win)
6. Denny Hamlin (1 win)
6. Tony Stewart (1 win)
12. Austin Dillon (549 points)
13. Ryan Newman (537 points)
14. Chase Elliott (533 points)
15. Jamie McMurray (517 points)
16. Kyle Larson (508 points)
17. Kasey Kahne (488 points)
18. Trevor Bayne (480 points)
18. Ryan Blaney (480 points)
**Chris Buescher (1 win, but 6 points outside top-30
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