Six Spots Remain In Chase After Logano Becomes 10th Different Winner In 2016

Only sixth berths in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup remain with 11 races left until the playoffs.

Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series FireKeepers Casino 400 at Michigan International Speedway on June 12, 2016 in Brooklyn, Michigan.Thirteen of the currently winless drivers have captured checkered flags on at least one of the 10 tracks leading up to the playoff opener at Chicagoland Speedway: Dale Earnhardt Jr., Tony Stewart, Trevor Bayne, Ryan Newman, Greg Biffle, Paul Menard, Kasey Kahne, Regan Smith, David Ragan, Greg Biffle, Jamie McMurray, Clint Bowyer and Aric Almirola.

Furthermore, Chase Elliott, Kyle Larson, and Austin Dillon have shown the ability to run up front and could pop up in Victory Lane for the first time at any moment.

Earnhardt is the only race winner from last season who hasn’t captured a checkered flag in 2016.

With just six open Chase berths and 11 races remaining until NASCAR’s playoffs, drivers with a “0” in the wins column have to play the risky game of selling out for victory or maintaining a strong points position.

If a driver goes for the win and wrecks or runs out of fuel, he/she could fall out of the Chase points positions. In contrast, a driver could go for the safe points finish and get jumped by a new winner outside the Chase Grid.

The winless drivers who would make the Chase on points today are Chase Elliott (100 points above the cutoff), Dale Earnhardt Jr (+30), Austin Dillon (+28), Jamie McMurray (+21), Ryan Newman (+16) and Ryan Blaney (+11).

Elliott and Blaney would become the second and third Sunoco Rookies to ever make NASCAR’s playoffs. Denny Hamlin earned a Chase berth in his first full-time season (2006). Third-year competitor Austin Dillon would also take the wheel for his first Chase.

The first driver on the outside of the Chase bubble looking in is Kasey Kahne, who lurks 11 points behind Ryan Blaney. Kahne is followed by Trevor Bayne (18th on the Chase Grid, 19 points below Blaney), AJ Allmendinger (19th, -27) and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (20th, -27).

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Next Race: Toyota – Save Mart 350
The Place: Sonoma Raceway
The Date: Sunday, June 26
The Time: 3 p.m. ET
TV: FS1, 2 p.m.
Radio: PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
Distance: 218.9 miles (110 laps)

Source: NASCAR

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