Originally written on Race Review Online  |  Last updated 9/28/14
NASCAR added two wild card spots to get into the Chase beginning last season, and it made things very interesting. This season, I expect it to create the best racing that we've ever seen in the Sprint Cup Series. The two wild card spots are reserved for drivers that aren't in the top 10 in the points standings after 26 races, and are awarded to the top two drivers with the most wins that are in positions 11-20 in the standings. As of now, Brad Keselowski and Ryan Newman would be the two wild card qualifiers with their wins and placement so far in the standings. Keselowski has two wins and is in good shape for one of the two spots, but the battle for the other could be very interesting. Newman currently is 13th in the standings and leads Kasey Kahne by one point for that spot. Kahne, like Newman, has one win on the season. That means one finishing position is coming between the second and final wind card spot entering this weekend at Pocono. That battle is going to be a good one to watch, but what makes it more interesting is it won't be just between these two by time the 26th race comes along. Big names like Carl Edwards and Jeff Gordon are on the outside looking in right now, and they know they need wins quickly to make the Chase. Edwards has struggled and only led in one race this season as he has fallen down to 12th in the standings. Gordon has had a dominant car in almost every race, but unfortunate circumstances and plain old bad luck have him 21st in the standings. Normally, drivers just try to ride out top-five finishes and solidify their position in the standings with good points days, but with the pressure to make the Chase and every win being an added bonus once in, the intensity at the end of races to get wins will only amplify each week. Now, the front runners that are up there weekly vying for wins will have more still competition from Gordon, Edwards, Kahne, Newman, and other guys that are on the bubble. That makes it extremely interesting to watch. I applaud NASCAR for this format as I expect the intensity to turn up as early as this week in Pocono and not let up for the rest of the season. These drivers know how important it is for their teams, crews, and sponsors to make the Chase and will do anything to be a part of this year's class. Getting into the top 10 is difficult to accomplish this late in the season, so rattling off consistent finishes may not be good enough for many Chase hopefuls. Going for wins is the key and there are some big names going for this. I can't wait for these next 13 races to see who will be the 12 standing after 400 miles in Richmond in September.

Devils winger sends zinger about nasty facial cuts

Giants dethrone Royals in Game 1 of World Series

Wife of Royals pitcher leaves World Series ticket as tip

Report: Chandler Jones to miss a month with hip injury

Lance Briggs left Bears' locker room to avoid the fighting

Could the Seahawks have gotten more for Percy Harvin?


Five storylines to watch in the 2014 World Series

Favre delays Lambeau return due to Bart Starr’s health

Cowboys release Michael Sam from practice squad

Fan in critical condition after being beaten before Bears game

Ben Roethlisberger rips the media

Tim Tebow: Gators don't have offensive leadership, lack heart

Royals fans sleeping during Game 1 loss at World Series

Matt Flynn had a blast at Pearl Jam concert

Report: Back injury could end Nathan Horton's career

Report: Ray Rice files grievance against Ravens

UEFA Champions League midway report: Groups E – H

PHOTO: Fans place Manning’s 509 football in Hall of Fame

Jets sign Jeremy Kerley to $16M 4-year extension

10 teams that should try to trade for Yoenis Cespedes

Lego stadiums: turning a childhood hobby into a business

Bayless: Kobe's sexual assault trial gave him 'edge' and 'sizzle'

Blackhawks make leukemia patient's dream come true

College football's post-Week 8 Playoff projection

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

NFL players who could be traded by the deadline

Royals fans sleeping during Game 1

Rice files grievance against Ravens

UEFA Champions League midway report

Cowboys release Michael Sam

Bayless: Kobe's sexual assault trial gave him 'edge'

10 teams that should try to trade for Yoenis Cespedes

Five storylines to watch in the 2014 World Series

Ben Roethlisberger rips media

NFL Power Rankings Week 7

Pistorius sentenced to five years

Lane Kiffin trashed in political ad

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.