Busch, Martin Lock In Chase Spots

Reigning NASCAR Nextel Cup Champion Kurt Busch and veteran racer Mark Martin became the latest two drivers to secure a place in this year's Chase for the Championship following the Sony HD 500 at California Speedway

Busch, Martin Lock In Chase Spots

Martin went into the race only needing to finish in the top five to secure his place in the Chase, but his 11th place finish was still enough because of his rival's results. Busch, having led early on, finished one place further back after a mid-race spin onto the infield.

Both drivers' results are enough to secure a Chase spot with only one race remaining before the top ten driver's points are reset, however Busch must start next weekend's race at Richmond to ensure the spot.

The pair join Tony Stewart, Jimmie Johnson, Greg Biffle and Rusty Wallace as having guaranteed their positions in the ten-driver, ten-race play-off for the crown.

The final four spots will be settled at next week's Race for the Chase decider at Richmond International Raceway.

Jeremy Mayfield is likely to secure his spot with a commanding advantage in seventh, and only needs to finish 39th or higher in the race he won last year to take his spot in the Chase.

Carl Edwards also looks likely to make the Chase after a strong run to fourth in California, requiring a 19th or better place finish at Richmond, but the battle for the final two spots will be a close battle between five drivers. Only 62 points covers ninth-placed Matt Kenseth to 13th placed Elliott Sadler, with 190 points available next weekend.

Kenseth and Jamie McMurray moved into the provisional top ten after poor performances at California from Ryan Newman and four-time Cup champion Jeff Gordon.

Dale Jarrett, Kevin Harvick and Joe Nemechek all retain mathmatical possibilites of making the Chase, however the odds are stacked heavily against them.

The Chase for the Cup Pos Driver Change Points  1. Tony Stewart - 3570 2. Greg Biffle +1 3361 3. Jimmie Johnson -1 3312 4. Rusty Wallace - 3257 5. Mark Martin - 3149 6. Kurt Busch +1 3114  clinched positions  7. Jeremy Mayfield -1 3073 8. Carl Edwards - 3014 9. Matt Kenseth +2 2939 10. Jamie McMurray +2 2929  Current contenders  11. Ryan Newman -2 2928 12. Jeff Gordon -2 2899 13. Elliott Sadler - 2877 14. Dale Jarrett - 2812 15. Kevin Harvick +1 2798 16. Joe Nemechek +1 2794  Still with possibility  
shares
comments
Kyle Busch Youngest Ever Winner

Previous article

Kyle Busch Youngest Ever Winner

Next article

Gordon: California Run was Pathetic

Gordon: California Run was Pathetic
Load comments

About this article

Series NASCAR
Author Tim Redmayne
Why a British prospect is trying to make it in NASCAR Plus

Why a British prospect is trying to make it in NASCAR

There has never been a full-time British driver in the NASCAR Cup. But Alex Sedgwick, who is rising through the stock car ranks, wants that to change and could be a trailblazer for European talents to reach the top echelons of the NASCAR ladder

NASCAR
Feb 28, 2021
How Earnhardt’s death changed American motorsport Plus

How Earnhardt’s death changed American motorsport

It's 20 years since legendary driver Dale Earnhardt Sr died at the Daytona 500, but the legacy of his crash continues today through the pioneering safety work done by NASCAR

NASCAR
Feb 18, 2021
The NASCAR subplots to keep an eye on in 2021 Plus

The NASCAR subplots to keep an eye on in 2021

This weekend's Daytona 500 kickstarts a NASCAR Cup season that promises plenty of intrigue courtesy of new owners and a refreshed calendar. Here's what you need to know ahead of the new season

NASCAR
Feb 12, 2021
How a second-chance NASCAR ace is rebuilding his career Plus

How a second-chance NASCAR ace is rebuilding his career

From a disgraced NASCAR exile, Kyle Larson has been given a shot at redemption by the powerhouse Hendrick Motorsports squad. Replacing seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson is no easy billing, but Larson has every intention of repaying the team's faith

NASCAR
Feb 11, 2021
Autosport's top 5 NASCAR machines Plus

Autosport's top 5 NASCAR machines

The American stock car scene is more famous for its close racing and occasional punch-ups, but there have been some fantastic machines too. As part of Autosport's 70th anniversary celebrations in 2020, we picked out five of its best

NASCAR
Jan 3, 2021
Why NASCAR's latest second-generation champion is just getting started Plus

Why NASCAR's latest second-generation champion is just getting started

Chase Elliott's late charge to the 2020 NASCAR Cup title defied predictions that it would be a Kevin Harvick versus Denny Hamlin showdown. While the two veterans are showing no signs of slowing down, Elliott's triumph was a window into NASCAR's future

NASCAR
Nov 17, 2020
Why Johnson’s playoff failure won’t tarnish his legacy Plus

Why Johnson’s playoff failure won’t tarnish his legacy

The last season of a retiring NASCAR great has shown promise, and may have resulted in another playoff push without small issues outside his control. 2020 won't be the year Jimmie Johnson would have wanted, but it won't be what he is remembered for

NASCAR
Sep 3, 2020
Why a Le Mans winner is heading into the “unknown world” of NASCAR Plus

Why a Le Mans winner is heading into the “unknown world” of NASCAR

Comparing Porsche's 919 HYBRID LMP1 to NASCAR is motorsport's equivalent of apples and oranges, but this weekend one of Weissach's top works aces will pit his skills against the regulars and revive the tradition of the 'road-course ringer'

NASCAR
Aug 13, 2020