For a handful of prominent Sprint Cup drivers whose seasons haven’t started as they might have predicted, it’s go time – actually GO time.

Although the season seems young, virtually one-quarter of the regular-season part of the schedule has been raced. Only 20 races remain until the Chase for the Sprint Cup cutoff at Richmond in early September, and that’s not a lot of time to make up big point deficits.

Just as last year, the top 10 drivers in points after the Richmond race advance into the Chase. The two remaining Chase spots will go to the drivers outside the top 10 with the most victories, assuming they also are in the top 20 in points.

The win-and-get-in route might already be the best highway of choice for some drivers who have stumbled out of the starting gate.

The unfortunate leader in this school of thought is Kasey Kahne, who has waited his entire career to drive for a top-notch organization like Hendrick Motorsports, only to see his first season there result in his cars being magnets for accidents.