ETC.: Biffle has completed 98.2 percent (2,625) of the 2,673 total laps contested in 10 career starts at Chicagoland. His average start is 15.7 and average finish is 18.2. He has one DNF there.
15 CLINT BOWYER, Toyota
Team: Michael Waltrip Racing
WHERE HE STANDS: Clint Bowyer took a big hit in the standings once the points were reset for the Chase for the Sprint Cup playoffs, dropping from second place for eight consecutive weeks to a five-way tie for eighth place for the Chase. He trails new points leader Matt Kenseth by 15 points and is three points behind the sixth-place tie of Joey Logano and Greg Biffle.
CHICAGO RECORD: 7 career starts, 0 wins, 1 top-fives, 6 top-10s, 0 poles. Best career finish: Fourth in 2010. Finished 10th in this race last year.
LOOKING AHEAD: Bowyer has been one of the most consistent drivers when it comes to getting top 10s at Chicagoland, with six in his seven starts there. But he's never managed to win there yet. Given the scandal with Michael Waltrip Racing that caused teammate Martin Truex Jr. to be disqualified, Bowyer will have his work cut out for him in the Chase. Here's his thoughts on Sunday's race: "It's kind of hard to celebrate with all this stuff going. We'll get this behind us and go on. It's been a long year, it's crazy to think that all this comes down to the end every year here, but it does. A bunch of cars racing out there for everything. It's unfortunate that some good cars had to lose this deal because they're plenty capable of winning a championship. I'm telling you, in this sport right now I think 14 to 15 cars have a legitimate shot of giving it a run for the championship. It wasn't our night (at Richmond), but hopefully it will be next week."
LOOKING BACK: After leading 72 laps, Bowyer spun out with seven laps left, eventually befallen by a blown tire. He ultimately finished a disappointing 25th.
ETC.: Bowyer has completed 100 percent (1,872) of the 1,872 total laps contested in seven career starts at Chicagoland. His average start is 15.0 and average finish is an outstanding 10.1. He has zero DNFs there.
88 DALE EARNHARDT JR., Chevrolet
Team: Hendrick Motorsports
WHERE HE STANDS: Dale Earnhardt Jr. dropped from seventh to a five-way tie for eighth place after the points were reset for the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship playoffs. He trails new points leader Matt Kenseth by 15 points and is three points behind the sixth-place tie of Joey Logano and Greg Biffle.
CHICAGO RECORD: 12 career starts, 1 wins, 3 top-fives, 5 top-10s, 0 poles. Best career finish: First in 2005. Finished eighth in this race last year.
LOOKING AHEAD: If Earnhardt is to have any chance of winning his first career Sprint Cup championship, he has to kick off the Chase Sunday at Chicagoland with a strong finish. Given that he has not won a race since June 2012, there'd be no better way to start off than with a win. Here's Earnhardt's thoughts on starting the Chase: "We are pretty excited to be in the Chase. I'm real confident in our ability to perform well enough in these 10 races. We're going to work real hard, and I think we've got as good a shot as anybody, so we're going to go in there with a good attitude and work real hard and see what we get. It all starts at Chicago, and I'm looking forward to getting in the car and seeing what we've got."
LOOKING BACK: After finishing eighth at Atlanta the week before, Earnhardt failed to lead a lap at Richmond and finished a still-decent 13th.
ETC.: Earnhardt has completed 98.1 percent (3,145) of the 3,207 total laps contested in 12 career starts at Chicagoland. His average start is 17.0, while his average finish is 14.2. He has one DNF there.
78 KURT BUSCH, Chevrolet
Team: Furniture Row Racing
WHERE HE STANDS: Kurt Busch climbed from 10th place into a five-way tie eighth place once the points were reset after Richmond in preparation for the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship playoffs. Busch trails new points leader Matt Kenseth by 15 points and is three points behind the sixth-place tie of Joey Logano and Greg Biffle.
CHICAGO RECORD: 12 career starts, 0 wins, 0 top-fives, 6 top-10s and 0 poles. Best career finish: Sixth in 2002, 2007 and 2011. Finished 32nd in this race last year.
LOOKING AHEAD: Busch and Furniture Row Racing made NASCAR history by becoming the first single-car team to ever make the Chase. Now it's time to take the next step and for Busch to go for his second career Cup championship (he won the first Chase playoffs in 2004). Here's his thoughts on what he faces in the Chase: "My fondness for Chicago has been well documented over the years. It is indeed my kind of town. I am hoping my fondness for Chicago will rub off at Chicagoland Speedway and I'll have a breakthrough race there on Sunday afternoon. I have had six top-10's there (in 12 starts), but not a win or even a top-five. It's time to change that. This single-car, Furniture Row Racing team continues to grab traction and move the needle forward. We have a good 10 weeks ahead of us and have some muscle to flex. It's a great feeling to make the Chase and be here with the big dogs as we compete for the Sprint Cup championship. We made history by becoming the first single-car team to make the Chase and now we're in position to become the first single-car team to win the championship since 1992 when Alan Kulwicki captured the title."
LOOKING BACK: Busch knew what he had to do at Richmond to assure he'd make the Chase, and did exactly that, leading 73 laps en route to a runner-up finish behind race winner Carl Edwards.
ETC.: Busch has completed just 91.2 (2,924) of the 3,207 total laps contested in 12 career starts at Chicagoland. His average start is 21.2, while his average finish is 18.2. He has one DNF there.
5 KASEY KAHNE, Chevrolet
Team: Hendrick Motorsports
WHERE HE STANDS: 11th, 15 points out of first.