After 26 NASCAR Sprint Cup races the field for NASCAR’s version of the playoffs is here. Before we get into all of that here is a look at how the chase seeding works out:
1.Denny Hamlin with six wins is the top seed and starts the chase with 60 bonus points
2.Jimmie Johnson and his five wins will start 10 points behind
3.Kevin Harvick had three wins on the season and begins 30 points back
4.Kyle Busch is in the same boat as Harvick
5.Kurt Busch won twice and will begin the chase 40 points behind Hamlin
6.Tony Stewart won just once, and will begin the chase 50 points back
7.Greg Biffle won a race, but has run awful as of late
8.Jeff Gordon, Carl Edwards, Jeff Burton, Matt Kenseth, and Clint Bowyer all make the chase on points alone
The first thing that stand out to me is there are four other NASCAR drivers who won races and did not make the chase; Jamie McMurray, Juan Montoya, Ryan Newman, and David Reutimann. If NASCAR wants to improve the chase, and the drama throughout the regular season the most obvious thing to do would be to make winning a race the number one way to gain a spot in the chase. I would match rather see these four drivers in the chase over Gordon, Kenseth, Bowyer, and Burton. I leave Edwards off that list as he has run very well since the beginning of the summer.
If the Joe Gibbs cars (Hamlin and Kyle Busch) had a better history in the chase we would have to select them as the favorites. As I see it everyone still has to beat Jimmie Johnson, and I think Edwards is a good sleeper pick.