Four drivers have already clinched a spot in the Round of 12 in the NASCAR playoffs, and a handful of other drivers are in good shape entering Sunday’s race at Dover.
Martin Truex Jr. and Kyle Busch automatically moved to the next round after their wins, and they would’ve advanced anyway thanks to their playoff points.
Kyle Larson and Brad Keselowski are also automatically into the next round based on the points they have accumulated.
If the current standings hold, the four drivers who would miss the cut are Austin Dillon, Ryan Newman, Kurt Busch and Kasey Kahne. But a lot can change in one race, and Jamie McMurray and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. are also in jeopardy of being eliminated if they perform poorly.
Of the six drivers at the most risk of being eliminated, only Kurt Busch and Ryan Newman have wins in Dover. Busch won at Dover in 2011, while Newman won three time between 2003 and 2004.
Stenhouse only has one top-10 finish at Dover in his 10 starts during his career. Dillon is in the same predicament as Stenhouse as he only has one top-10 finish in eight starts at Dover.
Kahne has never won at Dover, but he has had success at the track in recent years. He has top-10 finishes in three of his last five races at the Monster Mile.
McMurray has also never won at the track, but he does have eight top-10 finishes and finished seventh in June. A similar performance on Sunday would likely be enough to advance him into the next round.
Any stage win from those six drivers would also help, but the easiest way to qualify for the next round is to win the race outright. If not, they will be in jeopardy of being eliminated.
(h/t For The Win)