With just three races left until the field is set for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, chances are good that any driver not currently Chase eligible will have to win one of those races to make it into NASCAR's playoff round. Following are the prospects for the six closest drivers outside the Chase cutoff now and how they might fare in Sunday's Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway.
Getty ImagesDrew Hallowell
At the moment, Bayne sits 35 points behind Ryan Newman, the current No. 16 Chase seed. That's an awful lot of points to make up in three races. At MIS, Bayne has a best finish of ninth in 11 career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts. The good news is his whole Roush Fenway Racing team is running better.
Getty ImagesRobert Laberge
Larson should have finished in the top five in each of the last two races but got wrecked late. He has been fastest of anyone in this group lately. And he runs well at MIS, where he has one top five and two top 10s in just five starts. He probably has the best chance to win on Sunday of any of these six drivers.
NASCAR via Getty ImagesRainier Ehrhardt
The numbers for Kahne at Michigan are excellent -- one victory, eight top-five and 10 top-10 finishes in 25 starts. The problem for Kahne is that he and the No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet aren't running well lately. Kahne hasn't had a top-10 finish in the last seven races.
Getty ImagesJerry Markland
The last two races have been really good for Allmendinger -- fourth at Watkins Glen and ninth at Bristol. But in the 10 races before the Glen, his best finish was 14th. And he's never finished in the top 10 in 16 starts at MIS.
NASCAR via Getty ImagesJonathan Ferrey
Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
Sunday at Bristol, Stenhouse matched his best career finish with a stellar second place effort. In seven MIS starts, though, his best finish is 15th. That's not good if wants to advance to the NASCAR playoffs.
Getty ImagesSean Gardner
Another driver with fast cars and wretched luck lately is Blaney, who has made just three starts at MIS, with a best finish of 17th. But he is someone with enough speed in his cars that he could surprise.