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Sunday, July 29, 2012

NASCAR points reward some; punish others

Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Indianapolis Motor Speedway. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
It was another top 10 for Ryan Newman--this time--it came at the Brickyard.

I don't know about anyone else, but I certainly enjoyed hearing Greg Newman, Ryan's father, spotting for him today. Hearing Greg on Ryan's radio is a very comfortable combination, reminiscent of Newman's Daytona 500 win with his dad in the spotting stand.

It is so frustrating to watch Ryan run well, and finish well, but still fall short in the points standings. His position did not change. He remains 14th in points, which is on the outside looking in as far as the Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship is concerned.

There were certainly big changes just above Newman's position however, with poor Carl Edwards having trouble so early in the race. If the race for the Chase were held today, Edwards would not be in it. He was fortunate to lose only one position today. Even though he is in 12th position he still needs two wins to make the chase.

After the top 10 currently, Kasey Kahne would qualify for the Chase, despite being in 13th place, because he has won two races. Kyle Bush who is currently in 11th is behind him because he has only one win.

Newman is behind Busch, and ahead of Edwards, even though he is in 14th place, since he has one win.

This is totally confusing, and things certainly could change. There are six races before the field is set for the Chase.

According to Jayski's, these are the rules for the Chase:

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Chase System:
Twelve drivers will run the Chase
The top 10 in points following Race No. 26 -- the "cutoff" race -- to earn Chase berths.
The final two spots will be determined by the number of wins during the first 26 races.
Positions 11 and 12 are "wild card" qualifiers and will go to non-top-10-ranked drivers with the most wins, as long as they're ranked in the top 20 in points. Ties are broken by points position, then by 2nd place finishes, 3rd, etc.
The top-10 Chase drivers will be seeded based on wins during the first 26 races, with each win worth three bonus points.
The wild card drivers will not receive bonus points for wins and will be seeded 11th and 12th, respectively.
The top 12 drivers will be reset to 2000 points, drivers 1-10 will get three- bonus points per win.
Wild card drivers get no bonus points for wins

Congratulations to Jimmy Johnson, who won another one today. This makes his third win this season, joining Tony Stewart and Brad Keselowski who also won three races.

The only drivers in the top 15 that have not won a race this season, are: Kevin Harvick, Martin Truex, Edwards, and Jeff Gordon.

I'm certain that NASCAR is thrilled that Dale Earnhardt, Jr. has finally made it to the top of the points standings. He has lingered in the runner-up spot for weeks, but with the problems facing Matt Kenseth today, Junior just snuck right into the #1 place. Perhaps NASCAR can relax now that their favorite driver is in the cat-bird seat. And, perhaps we won't see any more changes to the points formula.
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