In the first 22 races of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season, 12 drivers have visited Victory Lane. And with only four races left until the field is set for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, there aren’t many chances for drivers to become first-time 2016 winners and lock themselves into NASCAR’s playoffs. But here are five drivers who stand a good chance of breaking through and winning one of the next four races, including the Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on Saturday, Aug. 20.
Getty ImagesBrian Lawdermilk
With his 2017 plans yet to be announced, Newman needs to make a strong case for himself. Although he’s currently Chase eligible, he hasn’t won a race in more than three years. With Richard Childress Racing running better, now’s the time to get ‘er done.
Getty ImagesJerry Markland
Dale Earnhardt Jr.
No one knows when Earnhardt will be back, as Jeff Gordon will continue to sub for him at Bristol. But if Earnhardt can climb back in the cockpit after that, he's won at Michigan or Richmond before, and if he’s healthy, he could win again.
Getty ImagesChris Trotman
The long performance slump by Richard Childress Racing has been a frustration to the team and its fans, but better times could be ahead. Dillon is 13th in points after a crash at Watkins Glen, but he could sneak into Victory Lane at Bristol, Michigan, Darlington or Richmond.
NASCAR via Getty ImagesJeff Zelevansky
Although he’s still looking for his first career victory, Larson has run well all summer. In the last eleven races, he has finished sixth or better five times, including a second-place run at Dover and a third at Michigan.
NASCAR via Getty ImagesRainier Ehrhardt
Despite a mid-summer slump, Elliott is having a sensational rookie season. Right now he’s 12th in points and in the next four races has some good tracks for him coming up. Elliott finished fourth in the first Bristol race and second in the first Michigan race.