The Joe Gibbs Racing teammates both had a spot for the chase in a wild card spot heading into New Hampshire, but with Kasey Kahne securing his spot with the win, both drivers lost ground heading out. With six races until the start of the chase both drivers will have to compete against Ryan Newman who is along the with the drivers in the wild card contention, but both drivers will have to compete against each other.
Kyle Busch is the only one of the two Joe Gibbs drivers who currently has a wild car spot, meanwhile teammate Denny Hamlin is within the top ten. Busch has encounter a few bad race weeks during the past few weeks. For about three races the No.18 ended behind the competition and out early due to blown engines. For three weeks in a row at Dover, Pocono and Michigan were engine issues for Busch.
Busch had two opportunities to add a second win to his 2012 season at Daytona and New Hampshire. He kept himself within the top ten and top five in both races but finished out of the top ten. A late race crash at Daytona kept Busch out of victory lane and a late race restart kept Busch out of the top ten at New Hampshire.
Joey Logano is the only Joe Gibbs driver and wild card contender who is trying to qualify for his first chase. Logano got himself into chase contention with a win at the Pocono 400 back in June. In his past three seasons running in the cup series, Logano has not qualified for a chase. Prior to the race at Daytona Logano headed into the race in a three way tie with Kahne and Newman for the final wild card spot. With an eighth place finish, Logano headed out of Daytona with a top ten finish and a wild card spot.
Heading into New Hampshire Logano needed a good finish or a win to keep him with a wild card spot but at the end of the race it was the opposite. With Kahne’s win and a 14th place finish Logano slipped to 16th in the points standings. Since Kahne won, he secured himself in the 11th spot and the first of two wild cards. Newman captured a top ten finish and is on top of Logano in the standings and Logano is 12 points behind Busch for the final spot in the chase.