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« Montreal race shows that Nationwide Series could exist as a stand alone | Main | Like Kenseth last year, former champ Gordon scrambling to find new sponsorship »

It’s been a rather eventless ‘Race to the Chase’ in 2010

By admin | August 31, 2010

By Richard Allen

When NASCAR developed the Chase for the Championship playoff system they no doubt envisioned a somewhat wild scramble for positions among those running just inside and just outside the qualifying spots as the races wound toward the cutoff. This year, that has not been the case at all.

Since the Coke Zero 400 in Daytona, which was the 18th race of the season, there have been only a scant few changes within the top-12. As a matter of fact, just three drivers(Clint Bowyer, Mark Martin and Dale Earnhardt, Jr.) have exchanged positions around that final Chase qualifying spot over those past six events.

Currently, Bowyer holds the 12th spot, where he has been for the last two races. For that matter, he has been in the 12th spot after five of those most recent six races. Martin had only one week in the top-12 since Daytona while Earnhardt left that race on the 2.5 mile Florida track in the top-12 for the last time in 2010.

In other words, the top-12 has had virtually no change since the halfway mark of the season. It’s been pretty much the same twelve guys for six weeks. That’s not the way it was intended.

Bowyer now leads Jamie McMurray by an even 100 points and Martin by 101 with only two races remaining before the Chase field is set. Barring some sort of disaster, there isn’t going to be any change in the top-12 once again going into the 26th and final ‘regular season’ race in Richmond.

Often times, fans who oppose the Chase for the Championship argue that the playoff has in reality created a system in which drivers spend the first 26 races of the season simply riding around and collecting points. After a close look at the top-12 in the standings and just how little movement there has been around that final transfer spot, it would be hard to argue with that point of view.

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Richard Allen is a member of the National Motorsports Press Association. His weekly columns appear in The Mountain Press and The Knoxville Journal.

Topics: Articles |

One Response to “It’s been a rather eventless ‘Race to the Chase’ in 2010”

  1. overa88ted Says:
    September 1st, 2010 at 9:06 pm

    Should they expand the 2011 chase field from 12 to 15 or 20 drivers, in a shameless attempt to get JR. in?

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