NSCS: 2-For-2; Penske Proves It’s Contender Round Material

RaceChaser Staff Featured, NASCAR, Northeast 0 Comments

DOVER, DE — official release — Jerry Markland/Getty Images North America photo — How quickly the tide can turn.

All summer it looked like a Hendrick Motorsports driver would take the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, but now a new team has seized the title of favorite.

With victories in four of the past five races, including the last three in a row, Team Penske drivers Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano have asserted the racing outfit as the organization to beat moving forward in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Keselowski (5) and Logano (4) lead the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in wins and have each locked themselves into the Contender Round with victories in the first two Chase races. On top of their hefty win totals, the duo also tops the series with 12 top-five finishes apiece.

Keselowski and Logano will try to continue their streak in Sunday’s AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway (2 p.m. ET on ESPN). The current Chase Grid leader, Keselowski won at Dover in 2012, the same year he clinched the NSCS championship. He has finished worse than fifth just once in his last four races at the Monster Mile.

Unlike his teammate, Logano has not found Victory Lane at Dover, but has collected seven top-10 finishes in 11 starts there.

With Team Penske nabbing two of the 12 spots in the Contender Round, eyes will be trained mostly on the remaining Challengers. Below are the finishes each driver needs in Sunday’s race at Dover (2 p.m. ET on ESPN) to guarantee a spot in the Contender Round, regardless of the finish of any other driver:

Kevin Harvick: 34th or better; or 35th and at least one lap led; or 36th and most laps led

Jimmie Johnson: 24th or better; or 25th and at least one lap led; or 26th and most laps led)

Kyle Busch and Dale Earnhardt Jr.: 21st or better; 22nd and at least one lap led; or 23rd and most laps led

Jeff Gordon: 14th or better; 15th and at least one lap led; 16th and most laps led

Matt Kenseth and Carl Edwards: 2nd; or 3rd and most laps led

AJ Allmendinger: 2nd

Kasey Kahne: 2nd and at least one lap led

Ryan Newman, Denny Hamlin, Greg Biffle, Kurt Busch and Aric Almirola only control their own destiny by winning Sunday at Dover.

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