Nascar

Jeff Gordon feels the pressure of making the Chase in his final shot of his career

Clint Bowyer prior waits for qualifying for Saturday's NASCAR Sprint Cup auto race at Richmond International Raceway in Richmond, Va., Friday, Sept. 11, 2015. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

Clint Bowyer prior waits for qualifying for Saturday's NASCAR Sprint Cup auto race at Richmond International Raceway in Richmond, Va., Friday, Sept. 11, 2015. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)  (The Associated Press)

Jeff Gordon knows a 17th-place finish Saturday night guarantees him a spot in NASCAR's playoffs.

Based on his history, that's exactly where he expects to run in the final race of the regular season.

Gordon said Friday he has a tendency of hovering in the running order exactly where he needs to finish. It's got him stressed out heading into his final chance to grab one of the 16 spots in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship.

But the tension is high for many drivers as they jockey for the final slots. Only Jamie McMurray is assured of making the Chase once he takes the green flag Saturday night.

Gordon, Ryan Newman, Paul Menard and Clint Bowyer all have conditions that will guarantee their eligibility in the Chase.