Wild card battle goes down to the wire - NASCAR Notes - Tucson News Now

NASCAR NOTES: wild card battle goes down to the wire

Posted: Updated:
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"
  • NASCAR Notes From the Lugnut CowboyMore>>

  • NASCAR NOTES: All Stars shine in Charlotte

    NASCAR NOTES: All Stars shine in Charlotte

    The stick and ball sports have their All-Star games but, it is usually more of a social event instead of a hard fought competition. NASCAR's version places the past season's best teams against each other
    The stick-and-ball sports have their All-Star games but they are usually more a social event than a hard-fought competition. NASCAR's version places the past season's best teams against each other with the winner leaving with at least a million dollars in their pocket.
  • NASCAR NOTES: Kenseth finds Southern comfort in Darlington

    NASCAR NOTES: Kenseth finds Southern comfort in Darlington

    Richard Petty, Jeff Gordon, and Dale Earnhardt Sr. are but a few of the sports greats who have gone to victory lane in the Southern 500. Matt Kenseth can now add his name to that historic trophy after
    Richard Petty, Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Sr. are but a few of the sports greats who have gone to victory lane in the Southern 500. Matt Kenseth can now add his name to that historic trophy after a late surge took him to the win Saturday night.
  • NASCAR NOTES: Darlington's still too tough to tame

    NASCAR NOTES: Darlington's still too tough to tame

    Last week's white knuckle action at Talladega pitted driver against driver. This week it's a battle of another form as they try to defeat a "Track Too Tough to Tame" in Darlington, South Carolina. Darlington
    Last week's white-knuckle action at Talladega pitted driver against driver. This week it's a battle of another form as they try to defeat a "Track Too Tough to Tame" in Darlington, SC.
AUGUSTA, GA (RNN) -

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.

Copyright 2012 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow