Kyle Busch just added himself to the top contenders for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup after his run at Atlanta.
Busch captured the win at the Advocare 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, his fourth win of the 2013 season. After leading the most laps of the night and with a late-race charge, Joey Logano finished in second. Martin Truex Jr. finished in third, followed by Kurt Busch and Ryan Newman.
With Atlanta being the second to last race before the chase cutoff, Busch was just one of the few winners when it comes to the chase. Along with Carl Edwards, Kevin Harvick and Matt Kenseth, Busch now joins Jimmie Johnson and Clint Bowyer in the drivers with a spot in the chase.
Kasey Kahne has at least a wild card spot, but whether he stays in that spot or not won’t be known until Richmond.
Dale Earnhardt Jr., Logano, Greg Biffle and Kurt Busch won’t know until Richmond if they are within the top 10 in points or if they are in the chase. Heading out of Atlanta, Kahne and Truex are in the two wild card positions.
Although not all 12 drivers in the chase are set, Atlanta proved to be a hard time for some chase hopefuls and some of the points leaders.
The top two points leaders had their respective troubles on track. Johnson was involved in a wreck with plenty of damage on his car, and Bowyer had engine issues. Kahne was also involved in a wreck after a restart pile-up.
As for chase hopeful and defending NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Brad Keselowski, he had gotten into the lead when the engine inside the No.2 car began to show signs that it was expiring. He managed to stay on the track as long as he could until the engine gave up with 15 laps to go.
There’s only one opportunity left for drivers and chase hopefuls to clinch their spot in the championship hunt. Heading into Richmond, it will be interesting to follow all of the chase scenarios and how the lineup of the 12 eligible drivers for the cup will look like.