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The Backstretch Blog-Top 16 in 17: 16 Trevor Bayne, 15 Ryan Newman, 14 Clint Bowyer

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Here on the The Backstretch Blog, I'm counting down the 16 drivers I think will make the 2017 Chase for the Championship. Here's a look at drivers 16-14:

16. Trevor Bayne: Roush-Fenway Racing

Bayne spent most of the 2016 season inside the top 16 in the standings, but ran out of steam toward the end of the summer and finshed the year 22nd in the points. But it is clear that the Knoxville native is starting to make some strides as he enters his third full season in the cup series. Expect either Bayne or his teammate Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. to make the postseason. I just think it might be Bayne because his team has shown more consistency.

15. Ryan Newman: Richard Childress Racing

Newman seems to if not be on the downside, at least plateauing in his NASCAR career. He is still without a doubt one of the top drivers in the garage area., but he hasn't won a race in more than three seasons. He is still a model of consistency, finishing 11th in the points standing a season ago.

14. Clint Bowyer: Stewart- Haas Racing

I don't think it is possible for the 2016 to have gone any worse for Bowyer. He finished 27th in the points and managed just three top tens. But if you look at equipment Bowyer was in, it seams to maybe even more impressive that he was able to crack the top ten at all. This season Bowyer takes the wheel of a former champions car. It should be enough to get him back in the postseason.

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