Thursday, August 26, 2010

Race to the Chase Notes Following Bristol

Chase Notes and Stats going into Atlanta:
Only Clint Bowyer is within one race of dropping out of the Top 12 with two to go, and nine drivers could clinch at Atlanta. This ties 2007, when only one driver was within range of dropping out. While Jimmie Johnson's ninth in the standings with two go before the Chase is the lowest positon he's had in the seven years of the Chase, his 3077 points is still 18 ahead of the same point in 2007, and he went on to win his second championship that year.

Jamie McMurray may run out of time in chasing down Clint Bowyer, but he has made a great run, picking up five spots over the last five races and outscoring Bowyer by 81 points. #29-Kevin Harvick clinched at Michigan. Jeff Gordon clinched at Bristol. After Atlanta [Sunday, Sept 5th] a 196 points margin over the driver in 13th place is needed to clinch a spot in The Chase.

Five drivers raced into the Chase with two races to go:
Year, Driver, Deficit
2004, Jeremy Mayfield, 35 pts.
2004, Mark Martin, 35 pts.
2005, Matt Kenseth, 11pts.
2006, Kasey Kahne, 90 pts.
2009, Brian Vickers, 39 pts.

The five drivers who were in the top 10-12 with two races to go and fell out:
Year, Driver, Pts ahead with two races to go
2004, Kevin Harvick, 31 pts.
2004, Bobby Labonte, 27 pts.
2005, Jeff Gordon, 11pts.
2006, Tony Stewart, 97 pts.
2009, Matt Kenseth, 34pts.

Bristol Facts and Notes:
" Kyle Busch won the Irwin Tools Race Night at Bristol Motor Speedway. It was his 19th Cup series victory in his 210th start. Busch became the first driver in NASCAR history to win a Nationwide, Truck and Cup series race in the same weekend.
" Busch led 515 of the 956 laps raced in the three series (54 percent). He led four times for 283 of 500 laps Saturday night, including the final 72. He led the most laps for the 20th time in his Cup career.
" Busch has won three of the past four Cup races at Bristol. He has posted top-10 finishes in the past five Bristol races, the longest current streak.
" Joe Gibbs Racing posted its 85th Cup win and eighth in 2010.
" Toyota posted its ninth win in 2010.
" David Reutimann (second) scored his best finish in six races at Bristol.
" Jamie McMurray (third) climbed from 15th to 13th in points.
" Twelfth-place Clint Bowyer (fourth) increased his points lead from 35 to 100 over 13th place.
" Ryan Newman (sixth) has scored top-10 finishes in four of the past five Bristol races.
" Greg Biffle (eighth) has posted top-10 finishes in the past three Bristol races.
" Kurt Busch (ninth) scored his 150th career top-10 finish.
" Denny Hamlin finished 34th in his 175th Cup start (all consecutive).
" Jimmie Johnson (35th) has finished outside the top 10 in six of the past seven races. Johnson dropped from third to ninth in those seven races.


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