Wild card battle goes down to the wire - NASCAR Notes - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

NASCAR NOTES: wild card battle goes down to the wire

Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR
Glenn Campbell - "The Lugnut Cowboy" Glenn Campbell - "The Lugnut Cowboy"

Everyone likes an exciting finish and this year's wild card battle is sure to please. Denny Hamlin's victory last Sunday night in Atlanta left six drivers competing for the final two Chase positions next week in Richmond.

Casey Kahne has the most secure position heading into Richmond by way of his two wins and 11th place standing in the point battle. Marcos Ambrose, Ryan Newman, Joey Logano, Jeff Gordon, Kyle Busch, and Carl Edwards all need a win to lock themselves into the Chase.

Busch currently holds the second wild card berth as a result of his 12th place standing in the points. However, if any of his rivals win in Richmond, Busch is out.

"It's definitely stressful," said Busch of his position. "We miss the Chase and we're just going to be another race car out there on the race track, running around in circles for the rest of the year."

Busch seems to have the upper hand when it comes to Richmond. He has won at least one race on the D-shaped short track in each of the last three seasons. A win this season would lock him safely into the field.

Newman, Ambrose, and Logano have only one shot at making the postseason and that comes by way of a win. Any other scenario and they are out of the Chase. Judging from their past record at Richmond, they will need a miracle to pull that off.

Carl Edwards has an outside chance at moving up to that last wild card spot in Richmond. He has one win in the last year there and has consistently run up front. He is 26 points out of 12th place in the standings and barring an early exit by Busch and Gordon, he will need another win to make the Chase.

"We're either going to be in or out," said Edwards in looking ahead to Richmond."That made my heart rate go up just a little bit, to realize we've got to make this happen."

Gordon nearly locked himself into the postseason last Sunday when he fell one position short of winning at Atlanta. A win there would have moved him into the final point standing position and with two wins, he would be virtually set. However, that didn't happen and now the former champion needs a win.

"That's been the most frustrating thing about this season is that we have a team that's capable of being in the Top 10," said Gordon. "That's been the frustrating part, not getting results when you're capable of doing better."

With six drivers needing a win to make the playoffs, Richmond will certainly be exciting. You can look for the gloves to come off as the laps wind down. This should be great.

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