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Chase for the Sprint Cup begins this weekend

JOLIET, Ill. - NASCAR's "Chase for the Sprint Cup" begins this weekend. Matt Kenseth of Cambridge starts the 10-race series in eighth place, nine points in back of front-running Denny Hamlin. The drivers will hold their qualifying today for Sunday's Geico-400 at the Chicagoland Speedway.

From this point on, only the Top-12 drivers will have a chance at the Sprint Cup title, which Kenseth won back in 2003. The other drivers will still compete for points and money. Paul Menard of Eau Claire is 17th in the point standings, five places away from qualifying for the Chase. Beloit-born Danica Patrick and Travis Kvapil of Janesville are also entered for the Chicagoland event.

Patrick is 11th in the Nationwide Series point standings. She and Menard are entered for tomorrow's event in that circuit - the Dollar General-300 at Joliet. Also, Johnny Sauter of Necedah is entered for tomorrow's race in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, the American Ethanol-200 in Newton Iowa.