Predicting the First 4 Drivers Who Will Be Eliminated from 2014 Sprint Cup Chase

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Predicting the First 4 Drivers Who Will Be Eliminated from 2014 Sprint Cup Chase
USA TODAY Sports

For the first time in its 11-year history, this year's Chase for the Sprint Cup will have three elimination rounds through the course of the 10-race playoff.

Four drivers each will be eliminated after the third, sixth and ninth races, leaving four drivers to contend for the championship in a winner-take-all format in the season-ending race at Homestead-Miami Speedway in mid-November.

While this year's Chase field has been expanded from 12 to 16 drivers, the full playoff roster won't be complete until after next week's race at Richmond International Raceway.

Still, there's enough of a baseline already put down of who's in and who's still on the bubble that we can pick the first four drivers we likely expect to be eliminated after the third race of the Chase.

As with any sports playoff, there will be first-round surprises and potentially a Cinderella-type story that will come out of nowhere to advance to the second and potentially third and fourth rounds.

As the Chase sits right now, here's the four drivers we see as being the first cuts, along with a potential alternate in the event the field makeup changes in any way following this Sunday's race at Atlanta or next week's Chase cutoff at Richmond.

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