By design, the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup is supposed to put pressure on drivers. Sunday’s Bad Boy Off Road 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway is the second of three races in the first round of the Chase, and four of the 16 drivers in the Chase will be knocked out at the end of the first round. Here are the five drivers with the most pressure on them this weekend.
Getty ImagesJared C. Tilton
Let’s be frank here: Buescher is playing with house money right now, because before the season began no one other than maybe his Front Row Motorsports team thought he’d make the Chase. Right now, Buescher is 16th in points, 12 points out of 12th place.
Currently 13th in points, Dillon has consistency in his favor. He typically finishes in the top 15, but his Richard Childress Racing Chevrolets don’t have the speed of the front-running cars.
NASCAR via Getty ImagesJonathan Ferrey
Much like Austin Dillon, McMurray is consistent but his Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet rarely runs up front. In fact, McMurray has not led a single lap all season long, which is remarkable -- and not in a good way -- for any driver in the Chase.
In the last nine races, Busch’s best two finishes have been eighth at Richmond and 10th at Pocono. During that time, he’s only led six laps. Busch should advance to Round 2 of the Chase, but he and his Stewart-Haas Racing team can’t afford a bad finish this weekend.
NASCAR via Getty ImagesJeff Curry
Coming into the Chase, Larson was red hot, with finishes of second, third and first in the final three races of the Cup regular season. But he was 18th in the Chase opener at Chicagoland Speedway and if he has another bad run at New Hampshire, his chances of advancing would drop sharply.