SI's picks for who'll be in the running come Chase time
1. Tony Stewart CURRENT STANDING: 1ST
The year's most consistent driver, with 13 top 10s, Stewart will become the first driver-owner to qualify for the playoffs.
2. Jimmie Johnson 3RD
The three-time defending champ has two wins in '09. Look for him to get a couple more—even as he preps for Chase venues.
3. Jeff Gordon 2ND
His nagging lower-back pain may be the only worry for Gordon, who has been first or second in points since February.
4. Carl Edwards 5TH
A nine-time winner in 2008, Edwards has yet to reach Victory Lane in '09, but he appears poised for a checkered-flag streak.
5. Ryan Newman 7TH
Driving for Stewart Haas, Flyin' Ryan is having his best season since 2005. He has eight top 10s, including five top fives.
6. Kurt Busch 4TH
The 2004 champion won at Atlanta in March and has three top-eight finishes in his last five starts.
7. Mark Martin 11TH
If not for horrific luck early in the season—two blown engines and a cut tire—ol' MM would probably be in the top three now.
8. Kyle Busch 8TH
Busch has three wins already, and as long as he doesn't let his aggressive racing get the better of him, he'll make the field.
9. Greg Biffle 9TH
The Roush Racing Fords have not been as strong as last year, but the consistent Biffle always gets the most from his ride.