Only Ryan Newman controls his own destiny.
With his win at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Sunday night, Kasey Kahne became the 13th winner of the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season – and the 13th member of the 2014 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.
Matt Kenseth finished second at Atlanta, and though winless, has accumulated enough points throughout the regular season to guarantee himself a spot in the Chase.
Fourteen Chase spots are now taken, assuming those 14 drivers all attempt to qualify at Richmond.
Two berths remain.
Here are the Chase clinch scenarios for Saturday night’s race at Richmond International Raceway, the regular season finale (7:30 p.m. ET on ABC, MRN Radio and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio):
--If there is a repeat winner, three winless drivers would make the Chase – one of which would be Kenseth. If there is a new winner, two winless drivers would make the Chase – one would be Kenseth (if Kenseth is not the new winner).
--Any current winless driver who wins at Richmond, and is in the top 30 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup driver points standings, clinches a spot in the Chase.
--Only Ryan Newman (in photo) controls his own destiny, no matter who wins at Richmond. If there is a repeat 2014 winner (or a Kenseth victory), Newman is guaranteed a spot in the Chase if he finishes 41st or better; or 42nd with at least one lap led; or 43rd and the most laps led. If there is a new winner (that is not Kenseth), Newman is guaranteed a Chase spot with a finish of 18th or better; 19th and at least one lap led; or 20th and the most laps led.
--Greg Biffle controls his own destiny if there is a repeat winner.If there is a repeat 2014 winner (or if Kenseth or Newman win), Biffle is guaranteed a spot in the Chase if he finishes 22nd or better; or 23rd with at least one lap led; or 24th and the most laps led. If there is a new winner (that is not Kenseth or Newman), Biffle needs to out-point Newman by 19 points and stay ahead of Clint Bowyer and Kyle Larson.
--Clint Bowyer and Kyle Larson are the only other two drivers who can clinch a spot in the Chase without a victory.
The following drivers can only make the Chase with a win at Richmond (and a top-30 spot in the standings): Paul Menard, Austin Dillon, Jamie McMurray, Brian Vickers, Marcos Ambrose, Casey Mears, Martin Truex Jr., Tony Stewart, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Danica Patrick, Justin Allgaier, Michael Annett, David Gilliland, David Ragan and Cole Whitt.
NASCAR’s 10-race postseason kicks off Sept. 14 at Chicagoland Speedway (2 p.m. ET on ESPN).