Posted: Saturday August 31, 2013 4:11 PM

Chase contenders try to balance patience, urgency

Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font

HAMPTON, Ga. (AP) - For drivers such as Dale Earnhardt Jr., patience is definitely a virtue at this point in the season.

Then again, there's a sense of urgency with the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship just two races away.

Only three drivers are assured of being in the 12-car playoff: five-time Cup champion Jimmie Johnson, Clint Bowyer and Matt Kenseth. But the outlook could be a lot clearer after Sunday night's race at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Earnhardt is ranked seventh in the points, a solid position to maintain his spot in the playoff. Yet he knows major problems at Atlanta and next weekend's race in Richmond could knock him out.

No one is feeling the heat more than defending Cup champion Brad Keselowski, who ranks 11th and has yet to win a race.

 
SI.com
Hot Topics: NBA Draft Yasiel Puig NHL Playoffs NBA Playoffs Mark Cuban Jabari Parker
TM & © 2014 Time Inc. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you. Read our privacy guidelines, your California privacy rights, and ad choices.
SI CoverRead All ArticlesBuy Cover Reprint