Race to Chase update: Kahne enhances his chances

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Sunday’s GoBowling.com 400 at Pocono was the 21st of 26 regular season races before NASCAR’s Chase for the Sprint Cup. Kasey Kahne’s second win of 2013 moved him into eighth in points. While it didn’t solidify his status, the second win could prove crucial from a Wild Card standpoint if the No. 5 Farmers’ Insurance Chevrolet drops outside of the top 10. Ryan Newman is now within nine points of Martin Truex Jr. for the second Wild Card position; Kurt Busch’s top five also helped him.

Here’s where things sit as of now:

1. Jimmie Johnson, 772 points, 4 wins
2. Clint Bowyer, 695, 0
3. Carl Edwards, 688, 1
4. Kevin Harvick, 675, 2
5. Dale Earnhardt Jr., 656, 0
6. Kyle Busch, 646, 2
7. Matt Kenseth, 638, 4
8. Kasey Kahne, 612, 2
9. Jeff Gordon, 602, 0
10. Greg Biffle, 599, 1
11. Tony Stewart, -5 behind Biffle, 1 win
12. Brad Keselowski, -7, 0
13. Kurt Busch, -11, 0
14. Martin Truex Jr., -15, 1
15. Ryan Newman, -24, 1
16. Jamie McMurray, -33, 0
17. Joey Logano, -38, 0
18. Aric Almirola, -45, 0
19. Paul Menard, -67, 0
20. Jeff Burton, -92, 0

Despite a tire issue, Johnson increased his lead over Bowyer to 77 points. A couple changes from last week’s Race to Chase update in terms of “lock status” are below.

VIRTUAL LOCKS: Johnson, Bowyer, Edwards, Harvick, Kenseth
ALMOST LOCKS: Earnhardt Jr., Kyle Busch, Kahne
GOOD FOR NOW: Gordon, Biffle, Stewart, Truex

IN RANGE: Keselowski, Kurt Busch, Newman
OUT OF RANGE: McMurray
VIRTUALLY ELIMINATED: Logano, Almirola, Menard, Burton