By Jared Turner
With only Darlington and Richmond left before the playoff field is locked, it’s looking increasingly likely that the 16 drivers currently in position to make the cut will be the 16 drivers who ultimately do. Sure, an underdog could go to Victory Lane in the next two races (see, for example, Trevor Bayne, who in the past two weeks has posted his best finishes of the season), but it’s just not likely. With a whopping 58 points separating Jamie McMurray (the last driver in the playoffs) from Clint Bowyer (the first driver out), it’s going to be nearly impossible for Bowyer to race his way into the playoffs based on points. In fact, Bowyer is the only playoff outsider who has even the slightest mathematical chance of racing his way in. Everyone else not currently playoff eligible has to win to get in.