Eight drivers for two wild cards

We already know the top 10 drivers in the Sprint Cup standings have locked themselves into the Chase, even Tony Stewart, who could fall out of the top 10 but still get in via his three race wins.

Eight drivers have a shot at earning one of the two wild-card spots for the Chase to the Sprint Cup. NASCAR rules base the wild card on drivers ranked 11th-20th with the most victories. In case of a tie in victories, the spots go to the highest-ranking drivers after Saturday night's Federated Auto Parts 400 (7:30 p.m. ET, ABC). Add that into Stewart's drama, and we have a potential free-for-all at Richmond International Raceway.

So, what do columnists Terry Blount and David Newton think of each of those driver's chances?

height=48 align=left alt="Kasey Kahne">Kasey Kahne

Current position -- 11th (in the Chase)

Can make the top 10? -- Yes (18 points behind 10th)

2012 victories -- 2

Terry Blount's odds: 1-to-10 -- If he doesn't make it, I'll drink a quart of motor oil. It would take an astrological event similar to the end of the dinosaur age for Kahne to fall out. One example: Kyle Busch would have to move into the top 10 without a win. Stewart would get knocked out. Jeff Gordon would need to win the race and finish ahead of Kahne in points. Stewart would get the first wild card; Gordon gets the second and Kahne would be left out. Yes, it is mathematically possible. It's also possible for me to swim across Puget Sound today. I'm not doing it and Kahne is not falling out of the Chase 12.

David Newton's odds: 1-to-2 -- Who dreamed Boston's Bill Buckner would let a routine ground ball roll through his legs in the 1986 World Series, allowing the Mets to come back from the dead? Who saw the Buffalo Bills with a backup quarterback overcoming a 38-3 deficit to the Oilers in a 1992 AFC wild-card game? Stranger things have happened, but not this time. Kahne is as close to a lock for the Chase as one can get. Wouldn't surprise me if he snuck past Stewart to get into the top 10.

height=48 align=left alt="Kyle Busch">Kyle Busch

Current position -- 12th (in the Chase)

Can make the top 10? -- Yes (-23)

2012 victories -- 1

Terry Blount's odds: 1-to-1 -- It's at least even money he makes it, and maybe better. Rowdy has won four of the last seven races at Richmond. His worst finish in those seven events is sixth and his average finish is 2.4. That's what you call dominant. Really, the only way he can blow this is a mechanical failure, a wreck, or watch one of the other bubble boys win the race. But there is one interesting stat that a guy on my chat brought up Tuesday. All four of Kyle's wins at RIR came in the spring race. He's never won this race and he didn't lead a lap in the last three fall races at RIR, so there is hope for the other bubble boys.

David Newton's odds: 5-to-2 -- Four wins in the last seven Richmond races. A 2.4 average finish during that span. Twelve top-5s in 15 Richmond starts. Gaudy. If that isn't enough to make Busch the prohibitive favorite, if Gordon is leading on the final lap, does anybody believe Busch will hesitate to move the four-time Sprint Cup champion out of the way -- the way Gordon should have punted Denny Hamlin on Sunday at Atlanta? Enough said.

height=48 align=left alt="Jeff Gordon">Jeff Gordon

Current position -- 13th

Can make the top 10? -- Yes (-35)

2012 victories -- 1

Terry Blount's odds: 4-to-1 -- Clearly, Gordon has the best chance to get in among the guys who aren't in entering the race. If he wins it (and he could), he's probably in. Gordon has finished third twice (including a year ago) and second once in the last six RIR races. He also could make it on points if he finishes at least 12 spots ahead of Busch in the race (not likely) and one of the other bubble boys doesn't win. If Gordon falls short, not giving Hamlin the old bump and run last week at Atlanta may haunt him.

David Newton's odds: 12-to-1 -- The 12 is for the number of years it has been since Gordon won at Richmond. The one is for the number of times in the last 22 RIR races Gordon has been in second with a chance to move the leader out of the way on the final lap. I easily could have made this 23-1 since Gordon finished 23rd and Busch first in the spring race.

height=48 align=left alt="Carl Edwards">Carl Edwards

Current position -- 14th

Can make the top 10? -- No

2012 victories -- 0

Terry Blount's odds: 100-to-1 -- It's just incredible that the man who tied for the title last year (in points) probably isn't going to make the playoffs. Winning isn't enough for Carl. He has to win it (he was second at RIR a year ago) and also hope Kyle has a terrible day and Gordon doesn't have a good one. Since Edwards doesn't have a victory going in, he has to finish with more points than all the other guys who have one win. Both Busch and Gordon are ahead of him now.

David Newton's odds: 18-to-1 -- The only thing more awkward than Edwards in those ESPN commercials about how he hates to lose are his chances of making the Chase a year after finishing second. He is winless in 16 Richmond starts. He did lead a race-high 206 laps in the spring race only to finish 10th after jumping a restart, and he led 113 laps in this race a year ago. But even with a win, he would have to finish at least 24 spots ahead of Busch, who never has finished worse than 20th at RIR.

height=48 align=left alt="Paul Menard">Paul Menard

Current position -- 15th

Can make the top 10? -- No

2012 victories -- 0

Terry Blount's odds: 500-to-1 -- Mathematically speaking, Menard is in the same boat as Edwards, only 10 points behind him. So some might say his odds would be almost as good as Edwards'. Baloney. That's assuming Menard has an almost equal chance of winning this race as Edwards, which he doesn't. And that Busch, Gordon and Edwards finish near the back. Not a chance in you know where.

David Newton's odds: 100-to-1 -- No wins this season, no wins at Richmond and an average finish of 27.5 in 11 RIR starts means no way, no how. Do we really need to include the Richard Childress Racing driver in this list? All he provides is a long shot that has no shot.

height=48 align=left alt="Marcos Ambrose">Marcos Ambrose

Current position -- 16th

Can make the top 10? -- No

2012 victories -- 1

Terry Blount's odds: 40-to-1 -- It's pretty simple for these last three guys, all of whom have one victory. As is the case with Gordon, if they win it, they're probably in. So the odds should be based on their chances of winning. In Ambrose's case, those odds aren't so good. He's the best road racer I've ever seen in a stock car, but he has yet to win a race on an oval track. Now would be a great time to start, but don't count on it.

David Newton's odds: 47-to-1 -- He finished ninth and fifth at Richmond in 2010 when he drove the No. 47 at JTG-Daugherty Racing. His average finish in the three races since is 22.0. He'll need a lot of oil on the track (see win at Watkins Glen) to have a shot here.

height=48 align=left alt="Ryan Newman">Ryan Newman

Current position -- 17th

Can make the top 10? -- No

2012 victories -- 1

Terry Blount's odds: 25-to-1 -- As Newman said, "I've done it before and I can do it again." Yes, he has won at Richmond. But it was nine years ago. He has only one top-10 in his last four RIR starts and only one top-5 in his last 13 starts on the .75-mile oval. His one victory this year came on a short track, but Martinsville (a half-mile paper-clip shaped layout) is much different than Richmond.

David Newton's odds: 39-to-1 -- The good news is Newman has won a Richmond race more recently than Gordon -- 2003. More good news, he led 342 laps in four Richmond races in 2002 and 2003. The bad news is he's led only four laps in the last six races at RIR, none in the last four. More bad news: He's crashed out in his last two races this season and three of the last nine. Not happening.

height=48 align=left alt="Joey Logano">Joey Logano

Current position -- 18th

Can make the top 10? -- No

2012 victories -- 1

Terry Blount's odds: 30-to-1 -- He has only one top-10 in seven starts at Richmond. Another problem for Joey is neither of his Joe Gibbs Racing teammates are in a position to help him. Hamlin wants to win his third consecutive race and fifth of the season, which would give him a six-point cushion to start the Chase. Kyle Busch wants to win to make sure he gets in. Joey also is a lame duck at JGR, moving to Penske Racing next season.

David Newton's odds: 42-to-1 -- You have to add his current car number (20) to his 2013 car number (22) to come up with his odds. You could argue it could be much worse. Logano has only one top-5 and an average finish of 17.6 in seven Richmond starts, and he hasn't led a lap. The only thing he has going for him is teammates Busch and Hamlin have won six of the last seven Richmond races. Can you say, "Give me your setup, please?"