Photo: Chris Graythen/NASCAR via Getty Images

The Chase is On – Our Predictions for the Postseason

It’s that time of the year again. After the 16 driver field for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup was set last weekend at Richmond, the intensity of the season is about to ramp up over the final 10 weeks of the season as we’ll whittle the championship field down to four at Homestead to see which driver will walk away with the title at season’s end.

As a refresher, there will be three rounds of eliminations before the Championship Four is set. The Round of 16 will include races at Chicago, New Hampshire, and Dover before the first four drivers are eliminated. The 12 remaining drivers will go on to Charlotte, Kansas, and Talladega before another four drivers are eliminated. The third round of eliminations at Martinsville, Texas, and Phoenix will then slash the remaining eight drivers down to the final four to race for it all at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Since moving to the eliminations format in 2014, the Chase has become as unpredictable as ever, but the NASCAR team here at Motorsports Tribune has some predictions on how things will shake out by the time the checkered flag flies at the season’s end in November.

David Morgan – NASCAR Contributor

Round of 16

Advancing: Kyle Busch, Brad Keselowski, Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Carl Edwards, Martin Truex, Jr., Matt Kenseth, Jimmie Johnson, Joey Logano, Kyle Larson, Kurt Busch, and Chase Elliott

Eliminated: Chris Buescher, Jamie McMurray, Austin Dillon, and Tony Stewart

Round of 12

Advancing: Kyle Busch, Keselowski, Hamlin, Harvick, Edwards, Truex, Kenseth, and Logano

Eliminated: Elliott, Larson, Kurt Busch, Johnson

Round of Eight

Advancing: Kyle Busch, Keselowski, Harvick, Truex

Eliminated: Hamlin, Edwards, Kenseth, Logano

Championship Four

Champion: Martin Truex, Jr.

321571_1

Seth Eggert – NASCAR Writer

Round of 16

Advancing: Kyle Busch, Keselowski, Hamlin, Harvick, Edwards, Truex Jr, Kenseth, Johnson, Logano, Larson, Stewart, and Kurt Busch

Eliminated: Chris Buescher – Even with support from Roush, this team still needs consistency. Austin Dillon – After starting off the year well, Dillon and his team have not had the same run it began with. Jamie McMurray – This team has been hot lately, but it has been a while since McMurray has visited victory lane. Chase Elliott – After starting the year off strong with numerous impressive runs, Elliott and his Hendrick Motorsports team have faded.

Round of 12

Advancing: Kyle Busch, Keselowski, Hamlin, Harvick, Edwards, Truex Jr, Kenseth, and Logano

Eliminated: Kyle Larson – Although Larson is having his best Cup Season to date, his inexperience running for a Championship may end his Chase bid early. Kurt Busch – After setting a record for most consecutive laps completed, Busch seems to have fallen off of the radar and struggled in recent weeks to finish where he was running. Tony Stewart – Despite having nothing to lose, Stewart’s recent spats and inconsistency may end his run for a Championship in his final season early. Jimmie Johnson – With Hendrick Motorsports ‘behind’ recently, Johnson will not match Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt Sr. this year.

Round of Eight

Advancing: Kevin Harvick – Barring any pit road mistakes, Harvick will likely be up front in the Chase. Brad Keselowski – Of all of the Ford teams, Keselowski has been leading the pack this year. Denny Hamlin – Hamlin’s recent hot streak will likely propel him into the final four. Martin Truex Jr. – Like Harvick, barring any mistakes, Truex will once again reach Homestead with a chance.

Eliminated: Carl Edwards – Out of all of the Toyota teams, Edwards has been behind. Matt Kenseth – With a limited amount of room at the top, Kenseth will likely be squeezed out. Joey Logano – Like last year, Logano will miss out on the final four. Kyle Busch will also fall out before the final four.

Championship Four

Champion: Martin Truex, Jr. – His dominating performance in the Coca-Cola 600 and other races make it hard to not pick the Mayetta, New Jersey native.

321571_se

Toby Christie – NASCAR Editor

Round of 16

Advancing: Kyle Busch, Brad Keselowski, Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Carl Edwards, Martin Truex Jr., Matt Kenseth, Jimmie Johnson, Joey Logano, Kyle Larson, Kurt Busch, and Chase Elliott.

Eliminated: Chris Buescher, Austin Dillon, Tony Stewart and Jamie McMurray.

Round of 12

Advancing: Kyle Busch, Brad Keselowski, Kevin Harvick, Martin Truex Jr., Matt Kenseth, Joey Logano, Kyle Larson and Chase Elliott.

Eliminated: Jimmie Johnson, Denny Hamlin, Kurt Busch and Carl Edwards.

Round of Eight

Advancing: Brad Keselowski, Kevin Harvick, Martin Truex Jr., and Matt Kenseth.

Eliminated: Kyle Busch, Joey Logano, Kyle Larson and Chase Elliott.

Championship Four

Champion: Matt Kenseth

321571_tc

Tags : , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

David Morgan is the Associate Editor for Motorsports Tribune. A 2008 graduate from the University of Mississippi, David has followed NASCAR since the early 90’s and became hooked at an early age after attending his first race at Talladega Superspeedway in 1993. He has traveled across the country since 2012 to cover some of the most prestigious events both IndyCar and NASCAR have to offer, with an aim to only expand on that in the near future.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.