A glance at the 16 drivers competing in NASCAR's playoffs
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) A glance at the 16 drivers competing in NASCAR's Chase for the Sprint Cup championship, which begins Sunday at Chicagoland Speedway. The drivers are in order of seeding for the 10-race playoffs:
No. 2 Ford, Penske Racing
DRIVER: Brad Keselowski
BORN: Feb. 12, 1984
HOMETOWN: Rochester Hills, Michigan
CREW CHIEF: Paul Wolfe
NOTEWORTHY: Has been one of the fastest drivers this season, but has yet to put it together in the new Chase format. He failed to qualify for the finale in 2014 and 2015.
No. 18 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing
DRIVER: Kyle Busch
BORN: May 2, 1985
HOMETOWN: Las Vegas
CREW CHIEF: Adam Stevens
NOTEWORTHY: The reigning Sprint Cup champion has four wins this season, but his consistency has been up and down.
No. 11 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing
DRIVER: Denny Hamlin
BORN: Nov. 18, 1980
HOMETOWN: Chesterfield, Virginia
CREW CHIEF: Mike Wheeler
NOTEWORTHY: Hamlin opened the season with a win at the Daytona 500. He's still seeking his first championship, and the final pit stop in the 2014 finale cost him the title.
No. 4 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing
DRIVER: Kevin Harvick
BORN: Dec. 8, 1975
HOMETOWN: Bakersfield, California
CREW CHIEF: Rodney Childers
NOTEWORTHY: Won the first version of NASCAR's elimination Chase in 2014, then finished second in the championship race last year. Has been plagued by pit crew issues that have cost him several wins over the last three years.
No. 19 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing
DRIVER: Carl Edwards
BORN: Aug. 15, 1979
HOMETOWN: Columbia, Missouri
CREW CHIEF: Dave Rogers
NOTEWORTHY: Edwards drives for powerhouse JGR, which has all four of its drivers in the Chase. Despite the depth, only one JGR driver made it to the finale last year.
No. 78 Toyota, Furniture Row Racing
DRIVER: Martin Truex Jr.
BORN: June 29, 1980
HOMETOWN: Mayetta, New Jersey
CREW CHIEF: Cole Pearn
NOTEWORTHY: Truex is back in the Chase this year after making it to the finale last year. As a sister team to Joe Gibbs Racing, the move to Toyota has led to wins in two crown jewel races this year, the Coca-Cola 600 and the Southern 500.
No. 20 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing
DRIVER: Matt Kenseth
BORN: March 10, 1972
HOMETOWN: Cambridge, Wisconsin
CREW CHIEF: Jason Ratcliff
NOTEWORTHY: Is looking for redemption after last year's Chase, in which a feud with Joey Logano led to his suspension.
No. 48 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports
DRIVER: Jimmie Johnson
BORN: Sept. 17, 1975
HOMETOWN: El Cajon, California
CREW CHIEF: Chad Knaus
NOTEWORTHY: The six-time NASCAR champion has not won a title since 2013. He's carried the flag for Hendrick Motorsports this season with two victories.
No. 22 Ford, Team Penske
DRIVER: Joey Logano
BORN: May 24, 1990
HOMETOWN: Middletown, Connecticut
CREW CHIEF: Todd Gordon
NOTEWORTHY: Didn't make the Chase finale last year in part because of a feud with Matt Kenseth. Has not had as strong a season as he did the last two years, when he was a title favorite.
No. 42 Chevrolet, Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates
DRIVER: Kyle Larson
BORN: July 31, 1992
HOMETOWN: Elk Grove, California
CREW CHIEF: Chad Johnston
NOTEWORTHY: Earned a spot in the Chase late last month with his first career victory. Is in his third season in the Cup Series and has turned up his performance the last month.
No. 14 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing
DRIVER: Tony Stewart
BORN: May 20, 1971
HOMETOWN: Columbus, Indiana
CREW CHIEF: Mike Bugarewicz
NOTEWORTHY: Missed the first eight races of the season with a broken back, but returned to win on the road course at Sonoma to earn a Chase berth in his final season before retirement.
No. 41 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing
DRIVER: Kurt Busch
BORN: Aug. 4, 1978
HOMETOWN: Las Vegas
CREW CHIEF: Tony Gibson
NOTEWORTHY: Busch has had a quiet year, with one victory but steady consistency. He's one of three Stewart-Haas Racing drivers in the Chase.
No. 34 Ford, Front Row Motorsports
DRIVER: Chris Buescher
BORN: Oct. 29, 1992
HOMETOWN: Prosper, Texas
CREW CHIEF: Bob Osborne
NOTEWORTHY: Last year's Xfinity Series champion earned a spot in the Chase by winning the rain-shortened race at Pocono. Still had to fight to stay within the top-30 in points to lock in his berth.
No. 24 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports
DRIVER: Chase Elliott
BORN: Nov. 28, 1995
HOMETOWN: Dawsonville, Georgia
CREW CHIEF: Alan Gustafson
NOTEWORTHY: The son of Hall of Famer Bill Elliott has had a strong rookie year as Jeff Gordon's replacement. He won the pole for the Daytona 500 and is only one of two Hendrick Motorsports drivers to make the Chase.
No. 3 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing
DRIVER: Austin Dillon
BORN: April 27, 1990
HOMETOWN: Welcome, North Carolina
CREW CHIEF: Slugger Labbe
NOTEWORTHY: Making his first Chase appearance in his third full Sprint Cup season. Is still seeking his first career Sprint Cup victory.
No. 1 Chevrolet, Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates
DRIVER: Jamie McMurray
BORN: June 3, 1976
HOMETOWN: Joplin, Missouri
CREW CHIEF: Matt McCall
NOTEWORTHY: Made his first Chase last season but was eliminated after the first round. Gave Chip Ganassi Racing two cars in the Chase for the first time in team history.