NASCAR: Tracking The Race to The Chase With Three Races To Go

BROOKLYN, MI - AUGUST 14:  Clint Bowyer, driver of the #33 Cheerios / Hamburger Helper Chevrolet, looks on from his car during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series CARFAX 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 14, 2010 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Jerry Markland/Getty Images
Ashley McCubbinAnalyst IAugust 20, 2010

Looking at the Chase following Michigan, it looks like the battle will be from 11th (maybe 10th) to 20th, if looking at a 200 point breakdown.

 

So who, out of the bunch, will be part of the top 12 after Richmond and in the Chase for the Championship? Well, here are the positions ninth to 20th after Michigan.

 

Pos.

Driver

Points Total

Point Breakdown

9.

No. 17 Matt Kenseth

2961

+206

10.

No. 2 Kurt Busch

2935

+180

11.

No. 16 Greg Biffle

2913

+158

12.

No. 33 Clint Bowyer

2755

(=)

13.

No. 5 Mark Martin

2720

-35

14.

No. 39 Ryan Newman

2652

-68

15.

No. 1 Jamie McMurray

2650

-70

16.

No. 9 Kasey Kahne

2629

-126

17.

No. 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr.

2626

-129

18.

No. 00 David Reuitmann

2590

-165

19.

No. 42 Juan Pablo Montoya

2582

-173

20.

No. 56 Martin Truex Jr.

2548

-209

 

Nobody knows who will make it exactly as you never know what will happen during a race, but a way to predict is looking at how a driver has finished at a track in the past, through their average finish.

 

Pos.

Driver

Avg. Finish – Bristol

Avg. Finish – Fontana

Avg. Finish – Richmond

9.

No. 17 Matt Kenseth

12.7

9.1

17

10.

No. 2 Kurt Busch

13.2

12.2

17.8

11.

No. 16 Greg Biffle

11

16.8

16

12.

No. 33 Clint Bowyer

18

12

10.2

13.

No. 5 Mark Martin

12.9

13.7

23

14.

No. 39 Ryan Newman

18.2

20

11.4

15.

No. 1 Jamie McMurray

19.3

16.4

25.2

16.

No. 9 Kasey Kahne

21.3

16.2

18.2

17.

No. 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr.

11.4

22.6

13.2

18.

No. 00 David Reuitmann

22.4

20.6

19.4

19.

No. 42 Juan Pablo Montoya

20.4

21.4

23.4

20.

No. 56 Martin Truex Jr.

23.6

21.6

23.7

 

Based upon this, you can then predict who will be in and who will be out based upon what their average finishes equal in points.

 

Following Bristol, if you calculate the points based upon average finish, you’ll see Dale Earnhardt Jr. move up a spot, past Kasey Kahne. With regards to spacing, Matt Kenseth, Kurt Busch, and Greg Biffle would become closer to being locked in. On the other side, Mark Martin would gain 15 points and Earnhardt Jr. would gain 21 points, while everybody else would lose points to Clint Bowyer, who sits 12th.

 

Following California if you continue down this road, Ryan Newman and Jamie McMurray would flip positions and Earnhardt Jr. would be 16th while Kahne is 17th. As far as the spacing,  Kenseth, Busch, and Biffle would be locked in while David Reuitmann, Juan Pablo Montoya, and Martin Truex Jr. are locked out. The points spread left from 12 (Bowyer) to 17th would be 147 points. Bowyer looks to sit 12th followed by Martin (-23), McMurray (-123), Newman (-127), Earnhardt Jr. (-138) and Kahne (-147).

 

Following Richmond if you continue this way, Martin would make the Chase by five points over Bowyer. Behind Bowyer, it’d be Newman (-20), Earnhardt Jr. (-129), McMurray (-150), and Kahne (-153).

 

This is obviously a guess as to what could happen as sometimes people can do above average (win, top five) or below average (wreck, mechanical failure) so anything and everything is possible. That is why we watch and what keeps us intrigued all the way to the final lap at Richmond.   

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