We know some things. In these times, some folks do not seem to know anything, but we do. Brad Keselowski is advancing to the next round. After Saturday night in Richmond, it should be confirmed that Martin Truex Jr. and Kyle Busch will be joining him. I feel pretty confident about Kevin Harvick and Joey Logano about now.
Some I am almost sure of. Some I am not. Based on how they are running and how they have run, I am pretty sure that anyone behind Aric Almirola, seven of them in total, are fighting for the final three transfer spots in the Chase.
I am not sure nine points is enough for Austin Dillon, for example. I am not ready to bury the likes of Jimmie Johnson, Chase Elliott, or Denny Hamlin just yet. I think there is still hope for Erik Jones.
However, they need to get it done this Saturday night in Richmond. The short track is normal. The next one is not. A week later at Charlotte, the Bermuda Triangle, the Black Hole, the darkness of Mordor possibly awaits with the inaugural running of the Roval. I mean, if Joey Gase winds up being the winner of that race of mystery I would not be the least bit surprised.
1. BRAD KESELOWSKI – 1 CHALLENGER ROUND WIN (2069 Pts – 3 W)
Is the boy trying to run the table?
2. MARTIN TRUEX JR. – 2087 POINTS (4 W)
Nothing to lose and everything to win…again.
3. KYLE BUSCH – 2085 POINTS (6 W)
Easily cut through the grass at Las Vegas. Imagine if he had been sponsored by Caterpillar.
4. KEVIN HARVICK – 2060 POINTS (7 W)
Damn pit crew. Damn tires. Damn Las Vegas.
5. JOEY LOGANO – 2056 POINTS (1 W)
As long as his next Richmond win is not as encumbered as his last one was, he’ll be fine.
6. KURT BUSCH – 2046 POINTS (1 W)
When a car shoots up toward you at a 90-degree angle, a good day is about to go bad.
7. RYAN BLANEY – 2042 POINTS
A Top Five gives the lad some breathing room.
8. KYLE LARSON – 2041 POINTS
The Rail Rider.
9. ARIC ALMIROLA – 2034 POINTS
How could he scrape the wall? Scrape Blaney, sure, but the wall?
10. AUSTIN DILLON – 2031 POINTS (1 W)
If he gets a decent finish on Saturday night, I will start believing he will advance..but not before.
11. CLINT BOWYER – 2029 POINTS (2 W)
Another Top Ten at Richmond this year might be all he needs.
12. ALEX BOWMAN – 2028 POINTS
Three Hendrick cars in the hunt, but that could be down to one…or none…after the Roval.
13. JIMMIE JOHNSON – 2022 POINTS
Things were going so well until the final dozen or so laps.
14. CHASE ELLIOTT – 2019 POINTS (1 W)
McMurray was doing so well, and then he became a contender collector.
15. ERIK JONES – 2009 POINTS (1 W)
Mr. Harvick, I presume.
16. DENNY HAMLIN – 2008 POINTS
Obviously did not have the same earth moving capability as Rowdy.
17. RYAN NEWMAN – 561 POINTS
A decent run last weekend…not that it matters anymore.
18. PAUL MENARD – 551 POINTS
The top three guys out of the Chase recorded Top Tens last Sunday. I should care, but I do not.
19. DANIEL SUAREZ – 530 POINTS
Will fate be kinder to him next season than it was to Kasey Kahne this year?
20. RICKY STENHOUSE JR. – 528 POINTS
Jamie McMurray is 26 points behind him. He damn near moved ahead until Lady Luck left town.