Geoff’s Journal: Previewing the first Chase-elimination race

By Geoff Bodine
September 30, 2016

After the Sprint Cup Series race at Dover International Speedway Sunday, we will see the Chase field narrow from 16 driver to 12.

How safe are drivers above the cutoff?
No one is safe. Unless you’ve won a race in this round, no position is safe.

With Dover being a tough track and having the potential for big wrecks, things can happen quick. Additionally, parts can fail, and mechanical woes could plague a Chase driver early and dash any points advantage.

Jamie McMurray
From an owner’s standpoint, Chip Ganassi would obviously love to see both of his drivers advance to the next round of the Chase, but Jamie is right behind his teammate in points entering this weekend.

It’s a real possibility both cars can advance, and both are capable, but both could fall outside the top-12 and easily not have enough points to advance.

Austin Dillon
Austin had such a strong start to the season, and now he’s on the outside looking in entering Dover.

It wouldn’t surprise me if he advances to the next round of the Chase, because he can do it on points alone. With drivers playing the points game, and only one winner Sunday, he will have to drive hard Sunday.

Tony Stewart
It would be a shame for Tony’s fans if he misses the cut for the Round of 12. He got in with such dramatic fashion with the win out in Sonoma in June.

It’s hard to imagine Stewart will run poor Sunday. He’s a three time winner at the track, most recently in 2013.

Chris Buescher
Buescher and the No. 34 camp may be feeling less pressure to perform this weekend. Eight weeks ago, their team wasn’t even Chase eligible before Buescher’s win at Pocono. They are in a must-win situation to advance.

I commend he and his team on what they’ve accomplished this season. He didn’t have a good run at New Hampshire, much to my surprise.

I don’t bet on horses, baseball games, football games, or racing, for that matter. It’s so unpredictable.

We'll just have to watch Sunday.

 DISCLAIMER: Opinions expressed are solely those of the writer.

Which driver most likely advance to the Round of 12?
Kyle Larson
Austin Dillon
Tony Stewart
Chris Buescher
Poll Maker