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Kurt Busch enters Homestead 10th in the championship standings.
The battle at the top of the points standings has come down to just three drivers, and barring a major setback, the championship is clearly Jimmie Johnson's to lose. The rest of the standings could be completely changed, pending the results of Homestead.
One battle to keep an eye on is the fight to finish the season in the top 10. When the series travels to Las Vegas for its annual awards banquet, only the top 10 drivers in the standings will have the honor of being on stage.
Here is a detailed look at the drivers that are currently in the mix to either stay in, or race their way into, the season-ending top 10.
8. Clint Bowyer: Clint Bowyer enters Homestead in eighth place in the championship standings with a 38-point cushion on the 11th-place driver, Ryan Newman. Bowyer needs to finish 32nd or better to guarantee himself a spot on the Las Vegas banquet stage. Homestead has been a decent track for Bowyer. In seven career starts, he has four top-10 finishes, but only once has he finished worse than 12th.
9. Joey Logano: 2013 has been a breakout season for Joey Logano. This year, he earned his third career win as well as posted personal bests in both top-five and top-10 finishes. He is guaranteed his best points finish regardless of where he finishes at Homestead, as this year marked the first time that he ever qualified for the Chase. Logano goes to a track where he has never finished better than 14th in four previous appearances with a 28-point advantage over Newman.
10. Kurt Busch: The driver on the hot seat is Kurt Busch. Busch and his team have clearly been the Cinderella story of the 2013 season, as they became the first single-car team to qualify for the Chase. Busch has a 26-point edge on Newman to stay inside the top 10. Homestead has been a boom-or-bust track throughout Busch's career. In 12 starts, he has scored one win and four top-five finishes. He has also posted four finishes of 34th or worse, including two races where ended the day in last place.
11. Ryan Newman: The first driver on the outside looking in is Ryan Newman. After entering the Chase with a ton of momentum, Newman has had a disappointing postseason. He has scored five top-10 finishes through the first nine playoff events, but none of those results has been higher than eighth place. History says that Newman will have a tough time getting into the top 10 based on his past performances at Homestead. He has scored just one top-five in 11 starts and has an average finish of 17th.
12. Kasey Kahne: Kasey Kahne enters Homestead needing to make up 33 points to climb inside the top 10. This year's Chase has been a nightmare for Kahne. He has scored just three top-10s through nine events and has been in 13th place in the standings following seven of those nine races. Kahne has had marginal success at Homestead in the past. In nine starts, he has four top-10 finishes with a best result of fourth coming way back in 2006.
13. Carl Edwards: Carl Edwards appeared to be on his way to victory last weekend at Phoenix before running out of gas as he was coming to the white flag. It cost him 20 spots in the finishing order and saw him drop to 13th in the standings, 35 points out of 10th place. While it may be a long shot for Edwards to get into the top 10, Homestead is a track where he could do it. He is a two-time winner at this facility and has scored seven top-10s in nine Sprint Cup appearances.