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Thursday, July 12, 2012

Who'll get the Wild Card positions? I'll pick Kasey Kahne, Kyle Busch; and Carl Edwards busting into the top 10

Who will get the two Wild Card positions? That’s the weekly conversation as we get closer and closer to the Chase starting in September.

They go to 2 drivers in positions 11-20 with the most wins. If tied for wins, the driver higher is points goes.

One other factor to keep in mind: Kevin Harvick and Martin Truex are barely in the top 10, so if they have some bad weeks and fall out, others knocking on the door of the top 10 might creep in and not need a win or Wild Card spot to make the Chase.

Here’s my crystal ball predictions as to the chances of each driver in the running as far as the likelihood of them making the Chase.

Carl Edwards = Sitting on the cusp of the top 10, only 21 points back in 11th, he is the driver with the best shot of breaking into the top 10 and not needing a win. But really, Carl has to break out of this little winning slump he’s in soon. And this month would be a great time to do it. If he got a win, even if he didn’t reach the top 10, he’d definitely have a Wild Card spot. And I’m going to say it’s almost a sure bet Edwards makes the Chase, one way or another.

Kyle Busch – 1 win; He has the top Wild Card spot right now, but will it last? I can’t guarantee that. Busch has off weeks, and if he continues to have them, he might be on the sidelines this Chase. One win might not be enough to get in as a Wild Card, another factor to consider. He needs to run better, and probably win another race.

Paul Menard – I don’t see him winning, so I don’t see him making the Chase. Slim to none are how I see his chances.

Joey Logano -1 win – Currently holding on to the second Wild Card spot by the skin of his teeth, and fighting to keep his ride at the same time. I think it’s very likely he busts out another win before the Chases, maybe even at New Hampshire this weekend, and solidifies his Chase chances.

Ryan Newman -1 win – Also very much in the hunt, Newman is always competitive, but I don’t see him being strong enough these next two months to compete for a Chase berth.

Kahne -1 win – Kahne is the king of streaks this year – hot and cold ones. Whether he makes the Chase depends if he is hot or cold, but if he can get going on a hot run, his incredible run from way down in the standings to a Chase berth is very much a possibility.

Jeff Gordon – No wins yet, and even if he gets one he’s still behind some guys in the order for the Wild Card. He’ll likely need two wins to get in the Chase. I don’t see it happening.

Burton – See Gordon. Same deal. Good run at Daytona by Burton got him in the hunt, but he’s not consistent enough to get two wins – though it would be nice to see him get one. It would be a very popular win for The Mayor.

Marcos Ambrose – No way. Not gonna happen, though he could get one win at the Glen.

Jamie McMurray – Chip Ganassi’s teams have been about as consistent this year as a waffling politician in an election season. Jamie won’t see Victory Lane or the Chase.

There’s my take on it. If you wanted me to name the two wild cards right now, I say that Carl Edwards breaks into the top 10, knocking Martin Truex Jr. out of the top 10 and out of the Chase with no wins. That would leave the liklty to wild card as Kasey Kahne and Kyle Busch … though I’ll reserve Joey Logano as my dark horse.

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