Chase breakdown: Who's in, who's in trouble after Pure Michigan 400
AUG 17, 2014 4:15p ET
Jeff Gordon's victory from the pole in Sunday's Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on Sunday moved him back to the top of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points standings by just 3 points over Dale Earnhardt Jr.
More importantly, Gordon now joins Hendrick Motorsports teammates Jimmie Johnson and Earnhardt, along with Team Penske's Brad Keselowski, as three-time winners this year.
After Michigan, there are just three races left in the Sprint Cup regular season. And once the checkered flag falls in Richmond in three weeks, each of the 16 drivers who qualify for the Chase for the Sprint Cup will have his points total reset to 2,000 plus 3 points for each race victory.
The four three-time race-winners are locked into the Chase already and are the current top seeds.
And the racers with one victory each -- Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, Aric Almirola, AJ Allmendinger and Kurt Busch -- will make it into the Chase by attempting to start the next three races.
That accounts for 12 of the 16 Chase participants.
The final four spots are still open. If any winless driver in the top 30 in points wins one of the next three races, he or she will make the Chase.
With only 12 drivers having won so far this year, at least one and as many as the final four spots in the Chase will go to the winless drivers who are highest in points.
Right now, Kenseth, Newman, Bowyer and Biffle are in the Chase, but that could change over the next three races.
The first driver on the outside looking in is Kasey Kahne, 9 points in arrears of Biffle.
The big loser at Michigan was Kyle Larson, who blew a tire and finished 43rd, which puts him 24 points behind Biffle, with Kahne and Austin Dillon between Larson and The Biff.
VIDEO: Highlights from the Pure Michigan 400 that was won by Jeff Gordon