Eleven drivers have wins with seven races to go before the Chase for the Championship begins. The Beyond The Flag Editor Christopher Olmstead had some interesting thoughts as to who he thought was going to fill the final five spots in the 2014 chase. Although I respect his opinions, in the case him and I will have to agree to disagree for the most part.
Here are the five other drivers who I think will make the Chase and why:
- Matt Kenseth has been the most consistent of all the non-winners of the 2014 season. He won more races than anyone in 2013 and will find a way to win in 2014.
- Marcos Ambrose will make the Chase and will give Richard Petty Motorsports two cars in the Chase. Nobody is better on a road course. Ambrose has dominated at Sonoma, but has always found a way to lose at Watkins Glen. This year that streak will come to an end and Ambrose will find himself in the Chase.
- Clint Bowyer is the one person not named Denny Hamlin who dominates at Richmond International Raceway. Bowyer will come into the final race before the Chase needing a win to make the Chase and will pull it off.
- Ryan Newman will be the one representative of Richard Childress Racing to make the Chase. I don’t see 16 winners and Newman has been finding ways to get good finishes. He won’t be a factor when the Chase begins, but Newman will make the Chase.
The final driver to make the Chase will be Tony Stewart. I will admit, I have been a fan of Stewart since he drove USAC cars on ESPN’s Thursday Night Thunder. Let’s look at the tracks left before the Chase. He is a two-time winner of the Brickyard 400 and has also won at Pocono, Watkins Glen, Michigan, Bristol, Atlanta and Richmond. He has never gone a season without winning a race and 2014 will be no different.
With Stewart winning a Sprint Car race this weekend, there will be a new fire as he heads into the Chase drive.
Those not making the Chase: Austin Dillon and Kyle Larson. I think Larson will get a win and could possibly sneak in with a win at Bristol, but I think he will win at Charlotte in the Chase. Dillon has been consistently unspectacular and doesn’t make the Chase. If anyone makes the Chase between Kasey Kahne and Paul Menard it would be Menard. That would be only if not enough people get wins going in. Kahne has been inconsistent all season long and it might be the time to pull the plug on having Kenny Francis as his crew chief.
So, the five who make the Chase: Kenseth, Ambrose, Bowyer, Newman and Stewart. Those who miss are Dillon, Larson, Kahne and Menard amongst other.
Those are my predictions as to who will fill those final five spots. If you haven’t had the chance to see Chris’ be sure to do so by clicking the link above and then let us know who you agree with. Feel free to sound off below or reach us on Twitter or Facebook.