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The White Flag writes:
"The Race to the Chase"
Posted by Cooper on May 4, 2010
Viewed 321 times


The NASCAR season is quickly flying by as 10 of the 36 events have been completed. Only 16 races remain in the race to the chase to find out who the 12 drivers will be to compete for the 2010 Sprint Cup Championship. As the summer begins it's a perfect time to begin the points discussion as many drivers have spaced themselves in front and behind the 12th position. The final race to figure out the chase is Richmond so it is fitting for me to begin the race to the chase after Richmond here in the spring. Every week my blog will have a thorough discussion on the championship contenders and those who will see their dreams fade away week by week. Within one race a 161 point swing is possible as 195 is the most points can be earned within a single race and 34 is the least. Anyone within 1 race of the chase spot is in the race for the chase. Drivers more than 161 up on the 13th spot are comfortable and will be in the group above. Drivers more than 1 race behind will be in the last group. In the three years with 12 drivers making the chase, after race 10 the percentages are;

More than one race above: 100%-No drivers has missed chase being up 161 after Race 10.
Within one race above: 65%-Last year 4/8 drivers within one race above missed chase.
Within one race below: 25%-Drivers within one race down have made the chase 6 times
More than one race behind: N/A%-1 driver more than one race below has made the chase.

Point Standings after event 10 of 26:
1. Kevin Harvick 1467 +258--Harvick fans rejoice, he's made the chase.
2. Jimmie Johnson 1457 +248--This was a lock in February.

3. Kyle Busch 1358 +149--Good chance he moves to group one after Darlington.
4. Matt Kenseth 1348 +139--Has been average lately, probably stays in this group.
5. Greg Biffle 1334 +125--Been consistent this year, piling up points, needs a win.
6. Jeff Gordon 1305 +96--Should be in group one, only 96 above 13th, needs some luck.
7. Denny Hamlin 1268 +59--After his hot streak, only sits 59 above, must worry.
8. Kurt Busch 1255 +46--In Trouble! struggling lately, got lucky at Dega.
9. Jeff Burton 1247 +38--Looks decent, smart; I wouldn't worry
10. Mark Martin 1242 +33--Disappointing, will pick up as summer goes on.
11. Carl Edwards 1227 +18--Average, he needs to work hard to get some comfort room.
12. Clint Bowyer 1213 +4--Same spot as last year, needs to keep up the hard work.

13. Dale Earnhardt Jr. 1209 -4--What can I say?
14. Martin Truex Jr. 1196 -17--Like his chances, has run well.
15. Tony Stewart 1160 -53--Summer is coming, he'll pick it up.
16. Ryan Newman 1142 -71--Has rallied to get into group 3, lots of momentum
17. Joey Logano 1116 -97--Been stuck in this group since race 2.
18. Juan Pablo Montoya 1109 -104--So fast, but so violent and wreckless. Points?
19. Jamie McMurray 1104 -109--C'mon man, you got the equipment, just finish the races.

20. Paul Menard 1044 -169--He's done, falling and can't get up.
21. A.J. Allmendinger 1029 -184--Just doesn't seem competitive enough.
22. Kasey Kahne 1026 -187--Might be the one to sneak up, got to focus.
23. David Ragan 1021 -192--He's 23rd in the standings, beating Vickers?
24. Brian Vickers 1019 -194--Wow, what happened? hasn't shown anything
25. Scott Speed 1007 -206--Falling back to earth, been the old scott speed lately.
26. Brad Keselowski 974 -239--Can't make the chase with 0 Top 10's in 10 races.
27. David Reutimann 967 -246--If the engine holds up he can make a crazy run.
28. Marcos Ambrose 925 -288--Might make mini rally to Top 20, but no chase.
29. Sam Hornish Jr. 882 -331--???
30. Elliott Sadler 871 -342--Was finishing races, but has been comical last two weeks.
31. Bobby Labonte 838 -375--Team just doesn't have resources.
32. Travis Kvapil 824 -389--Wasn't possible in January.
33. Regan Smith 807 -406--Above
34. Robby Gordon 800 -413--He's second in driver/owner standings(behind Stewart)

Next week, another event will be complete, and the standings will make us guess again, but after week 10, Cooper says the 12 Chase drivers will be:
#29 Kevin Harvick
#48 Jimmie Johnson
#18 Kyle Busch
#17 Matt Kenseth
#16 Greg Biffle
#24 Jeff Gordon
#11 Denny Hamlin
#31 Jeff Burton
#5 Mark Martin
#99 Carl Edwards
#56 Martin Truex Jr.
#14 Tony Stewart

Who is in your chase?

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