The following is a projected seeding for the 2013 Chase for the Sprint Cup. Seeding is based upon a driver’s performance thus far in the season as well as the projected performance of a driver based on their history. This is similar to most power rankings but focuses on the seeding for the Chase rather than race-to-race performance.
1. Jimmie Johnson – 2 wins, 4 top 5s, 6 top 10s
2. Kyle Busch – 2 wins, 5 top 5s, 5 top 10s
3. Matt Kenseth – 2 wins, 2 top 5s, 4 top 10s
4. Kasey Kahne – 1 win, 4 top 5s, 5 top 10s
5. Brad Keselowski – 4 top 5s, 7 top 10s
6. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. – 3 top 5s, 5 top 10s
7. Carl Edwards – 1 win, 4 top 5s, 4 top 10s
8. Greg Biffle – 1 top 5, 4 top 10s
9. Clint Bowyer – 3 top 5s, 4 top 10s
10. Paul Menard – 4 top 10s
11. Martin Truex, Jr. (Wild Card) – 2 top 5s, 3 top 10s
12. Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. (Wild Card) – 0 top 5s, 0 top 10s
Jimmie Johnson reclaims the top spot thanks to another top five run and a bad race from Kyle Busch. Matt Kenseth jumps to third due to his win but is still eighth in points and needs to continue finishing in the top five to better secure his seed in the Chase.
Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and Carl Edwards were potential top five contenders until debris from Brad Keselowski’s car brought out the final caution flag caught them a lap down. That caution also ended a chance at the win for Stenhouse who looks like potential wild card material.
Paul Menard’s continued run of good finishes brings him into the top 10 while Martin Truex, Jr. has recovered from his early season woes to move up in the point standings.
Just missing the cut: Jamie McMurray, Kevin Harvick, Aric Almirola, Jeff Gordon
It appears Jamie McMurray and Aric Almirola are in a glass half full mode as both drivers continue to garner good finishes and are on the heels of Menard for tenth in points. On the other hand, Kevin Harvick and Jeff Gordon are in a glass half empty mode as both drivers are not running up to their expectations.
Contenders or pretenders: Ryan Newman, Joey Logano, Tony Stewart, Kurt Busch
Ryan Newman is quietly maneuvering himself into Chase contention with his one top five and four top 10 finishes. Joey Logano’s wreck with Kyle Busch resulted in a poor finish at Kansas and seriously hurt him in the points.
Kurt Busch is 22nd in standings but has had many great runs thus far in 2013 but a lot of misfortune as well. Tony Stewart’s performance this season has been lackluster as he has failed to be a frontrunner all year long. Stewart has only led 18 laps and unless things change quickly, he won’t make the Chase much less contend for a wild card position.