We’re seven days away from the second elimination race of the Chase for the Sprint Cup.
And unlike the Challenger Round finale at Dover, this one may be worth the wait.
The restrictor-plate madness of Talladega Superspeedway could easily deliver multiple championship twists and turns before the end of next Sunday’s GEICO 500.
And the only two drivers that are immune to such chaos are Kansas winner Joey Logano and last night’s winner at Charlotte, Kevin Harvick, who are safely in the Eliminator Round.
As for the rest of the Chasers, here’s where everybody needs to finish in order to guarantee their own Eliminator spot regardless of the finish of any other driver:
Kyle Busch (+26 points over ninth place): 24th or better, 25th and at least one lap led, 26th and most laps led
Ryan Newman (+21 points): 19th or better, 20th and at least one lap led, 21st and most laps led
Carl Edwards (+20 points): 18th or better, 19th and at least one lap led, 20th and most laps led
Jeff Gordon (+18 points): 16th or better, 17th and at least one lap led, 18th and most laps led
Denny Hamlin (+17 points): 15th or better, 16th and at least one lap led, 17th and most laps led
Kasey Kahne (+1 point), Matt Kenseth (-1 point behind eighth place), Brad Keselowski (-19 points), Jimmie Johnson (-26 points) and Dale Earnhardt Jr. (-26 points) only control their own destiny by winning Sunday at Talladega.