Chase for the Championship Drivers
Kyle Busch, who's tied for the Sprint Cup lead with four regular-season victories, will begin the Chase as the top seed. It's Busch's fifth Chase appearance, and he's hoping the top seed can propel him to his first Cup title.
Harvick made his mark early in the season, hitting Victory Lane three times in the first 12 races of the season before hitting a late-season slump. He's hoping his win at the regular-season finale can propel him to his first championship. He finished third in the Chase last year.
Is Gordon the biggest threat to Jimmie Johnson's reign? The all-time great notched his 85th career victory when he held off Johnson at Atlanta on Sept. 6, and his championship experience (he has four titles to his name) should serve him well over the next 10 races.
Consistency is the name of the game for Kenseth. The No. 17 Ford driver has finished within the top 15 19 times in 2011, and he'll enter the Chase looking to recapture the magic that netted him the 2003 title.
After a strong run early on, Edwards has fallen back to the pack. He signed a extension with Roush Fenway in August, and he's hoping a renewed focus can rekindle that early-season spark. He finished second in the Chase in 2008.
Despite entering the Chase as the No. 6 seed, Johnson is just hitting his stride. He's finished in the top five four times in the last six races and he's won the last five Cup titles.
The older Busch hasn't dominated like his younger brother, but he enters the Chase as the No. 7 seed. This is Busch's sixth Chase appearance and the No. 22 Dodge driver took home the title in the inaugural Chase in 2004.
Newman clinched his Chase berth with a 20th-place finish at Atlanta on Sept. 6. This is his fourth Chase appearance and his best finish (sixth) came in 2004.
Stewart, winless in 2011, has won the Sprint Cup title twice. The No. 14 Chevrolet driver has three top-fives and 10 top-10s this year.
Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Dale Jr. clinched his first Chase berth since 2008 with a 16th-place finish at Richmond. He's never won a Cup title and his best finish (third) came in 2003.
Keselowski turned a broken ankle into one of the most impressive turnarounds in Cup history. He had two victories and four top-10s in the last six races and nabbed one of the two Chase wild-card spots.
Hamlin, who finished second in the Chase last year, clinched the second Chase wild-card spot with a ninth-place finish at Richmond. He had one win, four top-fives and nine top-10s in the regular season.