In order to qualify for the Chase this season the drivers not only need a top thirty place in the points battle but they also need to have own at least one race. Time is running out for those drivers that had not yet won a race and this weekend’s race at Bristol saw another chance pass when the winner was someone who had already won this season.
The opportunities were high as well and Matt Kenseth certainly took his opportunities. After a lap 432 caution for example, Carl Edwards decided to stay out of the pit lane, when most others decided to come in. However joined by Kyle Larson, Paul Menard and Matt Kenseth it was between the four of them at the front for long time with Kenseth leading until Joey Logano overtook him and the others could not keep up. The decision had been a tough one for Kenseth as he could not decide whether he should take a pit stop or not with his crew advising him to do so but him opting not to with the crew backing his decision that they could get their first win if he stayed out. However, in the end he only managed a third place, despite the car looking good.
Menard and Larson were also there for a win or else and they worked hard to get through and Larson admitted that it was the hardest that he had raced but only managed twelfth which he admitted was as good as they could be. Despite not getting a top ten position it certainly looks like Larson or Menard could be up for the Sunoco Rookie of the Year, but it is likely that they are really only looking for a place in The Chase right now. Larson is 26 points behind Biffle, who is currently the number 16 seed on the Chase grid and he will be working hard to try to win for the next few races in order to work at that points difference and go for his first win as well.