Sunday 1:30 on NBC
The Chase gets network status as the drivers go from 8 to 4. Martin Truex Jr, Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick have clinched a spot by winning the last 3 races. The remaining 5 are fighting for the last playoff spot. Here’s how it breaks down.
Brad Keselowski currently is in 4th. He is 19 points ahead of the next driver. He has never won in Phoenix and has a career finishing record of 14.0, the worst of the remaining drivers. He is going to need to stay ahead of the 4 chasing him to make it to the next round.
Denny Hamlin is currently in 5th. He is 19 points behind Keselowski. He has one win at Phoenix in his career with a career average of 10.8.
Ryan Blaney in 6th is 22 points behind Keselowski. He has never won in Phoenix and has an average finish of 13.7. He has been the underdog in the Playoffs the whole time and been able to move on with each round, will his skill hold up?
Chase Elliott at 7th is 49 points back from the #4 position. He has never won at Phoenix, he has never won anywhere since moving to the big time. He has come close and has had a great postseason, a win here would be the perfect time.
In 8th place is the most feared driver in the field, 7-time winner Jimmie Johnson. He is 51 points behind Keselowski but has 4 wins at Phoenix and a career average finish there of 9.0 (the best in the field). Johnson has had a poor performance in the Chase and is still in position to earn his 8th Cup. But he is going to have to come up with some magic to get there.