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Top 10s, not tyres, matter to drivers on the bubble

Their names are Kahne, Montoya, Busch, Martin, Kenseth, Biffle and Reutimann.

And tyre wear isn't foremost on their minds going into Sunday's Allstate 400 at the Brickyard.

Although that might put them in the minority after last year's tyre debacle in the annual Sprint Cup race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, when you are fighting for a spot in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, you have more pressing matters.

The spread from #8 Kasey Kahne to #14 David Reutimann is 117 points. Kahne is 51 points ahead of 13th-place Greg Biffle, and Reutimann is 76 points behind twelfth-place Matt Kenseth, who holds the last Chase-eligible spot by ten points over Biffle.

“The pressure is on if we want to contend during the Chase,” Reutimann said. “I know (we're) capable of getting back in the top twelve and we're very close. Each top-five finish will get us closer to that goal.”

Reutimann spent eight weeks in the top twelve early in the season but has been in only once since; he has ranked from eleventh to 15th over the past ten races but always been in the hunt.

Mark Martin has been in and out of the top twelve twice since his first appearance after his victory at Darlington in May. His fourth win of the season — in the most recent Cup race two weeks ago at Chicagoland — lifted him from 13th to eleventh but a scant eleven points ahead of Biffle.

“We've definitely accomplished good things this year,” said Alan Gustafson, Martin's crew chief. “Winning four races, we're obviously very happy about that. We've just got to keep it up if we want to make the Chase. If we don't make it, I will be really, really disappointed.”

Kyle Busch, who is second to Martin in wins with three, is in tenth, 13 points ahead of Biffle. And Juan Pablo Montoya, who finished second at the Brickyard two years ago, is ninth, 36 points inside the top twelve.

by Bill Marx/Sporting News



Related Pictures

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David Reutimann - Michael Waltrip Racing [Pic credit: Getty for NASCAR]
Jamie McMurray, driver of the #1 McDonald’s Chevrolet SS, finished eighth and Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Great Clips Chevrolet SS, finished 35th Saturday, August 23, 2014 in the Nascar Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
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With General Motors CEO Mary Barra, Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, holds the Michigan Heritage Trophy after winning the Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race Sunday, August 17, 2014 at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan. This was Gordon`s third win of the season. In 2013, MIS began awarding the Michigan Heritage Trophy as a recognition and celebration of the automobile and it`s importance to the race track and the manufacturers competing in NASCAR. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, celebrates with his crew after winning the Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race Sunday, August 17, 2014 at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan. This was Gordon`s third win of the season. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 17, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 17, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 17, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
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Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, and Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, lead the field to start the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 17, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, races Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 17, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
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Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, captured the pole position Friday, August 15, 2014 for Sunday`s Pure Michigan NASCAR Sprint Cup 400 race at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan. The was Gordon`s second pole position this season. He set a new track record in the final round of qualifying with a lap of 206.558 mph. Gordon is second in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, celebrates capturing the pole position Friday, August 15, 2014 for Sunday`s Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan. The was Gordon`s second pole position this season. He set a new track record in the final round of qualifying with a lap of 206.558 mph. Gordon is second in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, sits in his car during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 15, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo Credit: Will Schneekloth/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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