Six Qualifying Spots Open in NASCAR’s Chase for the Cup

This weekend NASCAR will be heading to the fastest circuit on the calendar. The Atlanta Motor Speedway is a mile and a half of high banked pavement which should provide some fantastic action for racing fans.

There are just two races left in the 2011 NASCAR regular season, the first of which will be this Sunday in Atlanta. Six of the twelve spots in the 10-race chase have already been decided, and a few more will likely be sealed up this weekend.

Kyle Busch currently sits at the top of the standings ahead of 5-time defending Sprint Champion Jimmie Johnson. Matt Kenseth, Carl Edwards, Kevin Harvick, and Jeff Gordon, have also secured spots for the Chase for the Cup.

SB Nation reports that Ryan Newman can clinch a spot in the Chase if he can leave Atlanta with a 22nd place finish or better. Kurt Busch, Randy’s brother, can also secure a qualifying spot this Sunday, but Busch will need to finish ninth or above.

After Atlanta, the NASCAR rider’s will have one more race to earn a spot in the Chase for the Cup. For riders like Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Tony Stewart, the magic number at Atlanta is 49.

According to SB Nation:

“Any driver who has a 49-point advantage over the 11th-place driver in the standings after Atlanta will clinch a top-ten Chase spot.”

Earnhardt Jr. and Stewart are both within that 49 point range at the moment, but they’ll need to hold that position to clinch a spot after Atlanta.

Will NASCAR favorite Dale Earnhardt Jr. earn his spot in the Chase for the Cup this season?