Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Race is tightening to qualify for the Chase

August 15, 2007
The talk is similar to the month leading up to the NCAA basketball tournament, but instead of bubble teams, it's all about bubble drivers.

Only the top 12 drivers in the Nextel Cup standings after the Sept. 8 race at Richmond qualify for the 10-race Chase for the championship, and 2004 champion Kurt Busch currently resides in 12th place with four races left before the cutoff.

Busch trails 11th-place Martin Truex Jr. by 58 points and is 96 points ahead of Penske Racing teammate Ryan Newman, who is 13th. Dale Earnhardt Jr. is 14th, four points behind Newman.

"We're in the hunt for the Chase and each week it feels like we're getting closer and closer to moving into that 12th spot," Newman said Tuesday.
Bubble drivers use Matt Kenseth's remarkable 2005 rally for inspiration. After Watkins Glen, Kenseth was 16th and 165 points out of the 10th and final Chase qualifying spot. Four weeks later, he was eighth.

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