Motorsport.com's pre-season Chase predictions

Five members of the Motorsport.com editorial team have put together what each think the 16-driver Chase grid will look like in 2016.

Below -- in order of most votes to fewest -- is Motorsport/com's combined list of potential Chase competitors for 2016. In total, 22 drivers were named.

11 drivers were selected by all five participants and each of the aforementioned 11 also made the cut for the 2015 Chase. Adversely, one 2015 Chaser (Paul Menard) was selected by no one in our panel.

The list includes four drivers who have never made the Chase before (Kyle Larson, Austin Dillon, Chase Elliott, Ryan Blaney).

Both Elliott and Blaney will be taking part in their first full-time season of competition at the Cup level. Looking back though, it's a rarity to see ROTY contenders make their way into the postseason. In fact, it's only happened twice: Denny Hamlin in 2006 and Carl Edwards in 2005. Both drivers ended their respective seasons third in the championship standings.

Drivers Lee Spencer Jim Utter Nick DeGroot David Malsher Valentin Khorounzhiy Total Votes

Kyle Busch 

X X X X X 5

Kevin Harvick

X X X X X 5
Kurt Busch X X X X X 5
Joey Logano X X X X X 5
Brad Keselowski X X X X X 5
Dale Earnhardt Jr. X X X X X 5
Jimmie Johnson X X X X X 5
Martin Truex Jr. X X X X X 5
Carl Edwards X X X X X 5
Matt Kenseth X X X X X 5
Denny Hamlin X X X X X 5
Jamie McMurray X   X X X 4
Chase Elliott   X X X X 4
Kyle Larson   X X X   3
Austin Dillon X X   X   3
Ryan Newman X   X   X 3
Ryan Blaney   X X X   3
Clint Bowyer X         1
Greg Biffle X         1
Aric Almirola   X       1
A.J. Allmendinger         X 1
Kasey Kahne         X 1
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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Article type Preview
Tags david malsher, jim utter, lee spencer, nick degroot, valentin khorounzhiy