So here we are at the final race of our 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup regular season. I love the fact that it all comes down to a short-track race Saturday night under the lights at Richmond International Raceway.
The most asked question I have been getting from the fans is whether anyone who is outside the top 16 has a shot at making the Chase.
My answer is I just don't see it happening. Actually I've been saying it for well over a month, and my opinion really hasn't changed in over a month.
Unfortunately for the No. 43 team, it and driver Aric Almirola are 29 points behind Clint Bowyer in the race for the final Chase spot. That's just not going to do it. It's just too much ground to make up in one race. The other negative that Aric has is that he has never ever beaten Clint Bowyer in a NASCAR Sprint Cup race by 29 points.
I'm not trying to pile on the No. 43 team, because it is what it is, but Almirola has one top-five and one top-10 finish this year. The reality is the No. 43 bunch is basically a 15th- to 20th-place team, plus Clint runs really well at Richmond. So again, I just don't see anyone popping up and upsetting the Chase apple cart Saturday night.
Now that's not to say it couldn't happen, because we all know that Tony Stewart, Kasey Kahne and Greg Biffle can win at Richmond. It's just unlikely that they will.
I only say that because right now I don't see any of those three running well enough to win the race Saturday night. I just think we are pretty safe in knowing who our 16 drivers for the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Chase are.