NASCAR: Who’s Hot And Who’s Not Heading Into Pocono

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Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

NOT – Paul Menard, Brian Vickers and Tony Stewart

All three of these drivers are currently on the outside of the chase looking in and all three of these drivers had a great chance to makeup some ground on Sunday and were not able to do so. Tony Stewart ran the nest of this group on his way to a 17th place finish. While a top-20 isn’t horrible it isn’t great either when the guys that you’re chasing to make the chase all finished in the top-10 or top-five. Stewart has historically ran well at Indy and Sunday was disappointing. Brian Vickers finished 19th in a car that was fast enough in the first half of the race to finish inside of the top-10. Vickers consistency has killed him all season long and did so again this past weekend. Menard won at Indy in 2011 and has been a surprise to some with how well he has run in 2014. However his 34th place finish was not what the No. 27 team wanted to see at Indy. With six races to go all three of these drivers are still well within striking distance to make the chase based on points and even win a race. However, if any of these guys are going to make a push to the chase they are going to have to drastically improve how they run each weekend. Each of them has looked great at times in 2014 and inconsistency has also made them each look bad as well. Of the three I would mark Stewart at most likely to make the chase and I think he would do that with a win in the last six races as opposed to point racing.