The NASCAR Playoffs start this Sunday, and it’s bound to be a great one!
Here are the rules, as mostly copied from last years post.
Let’s break it down, and then mention who is in-it-to-win-it this year:
- 16 drivers made it into the Chase this year (based on wins during the season, not necessarily on points…so drivers winning in the beginning of the year [I’m looking at you Denny Hamlin] could relax throughout the rest of the season)
- As usual the playoffs are a 10-race event, with each race hosting the standard field of 43, however, the amount of drivers competing for the Cup will decrease as the playoffs go on
- 16 racers start off in the playoffs for the first 3 races (Challenger Round), this is reduced to 12 for the next 3 races (Contender Round), 8 for races 7-9 (Eliminator Round) and finally just four racers with a chance to win it in the final race of the season (The NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship)
- To advance from one round to the next, racers must either win a race in the current round or be in the top (12, 8 or 4) in points to advance. This gives racers that have car trouble in the first race of the Chase, a chance to win the 2nd race, and still be in the playoffs, not being eliminated on one performance
- Four drivers will enter the last race of the season, and the first to the finish line from that group, wins the cup…I smell an old fashioned Green-White-Checkered exciting race to the finish!
- Point for the playoffs are as follows:
- Playoff drivers start with 2000 points (+3 for every regular season victory)
- Racers in the 2nd round have their points moved to 3000
- Racers in the 3rd round get moved up to 4000 points
- And finally, the racers in the Championship race will start with 5000 points
The drivers who will be competing for the NASCAR Sprint Cup are (point totals in parenthesis, and drivers # listed as well):
- #48 Jimmy Johnson (2012) – 6 time Champion winner
- #18 Kyle Busch (2012) – Missed the first half of the season with an injury, yet managed to win a LOT when he came back, making it in to the playoffs
- #20 Matt Kenseth (2012)
- #22 Joey Logano (2009)
- #4 Kevin Harvick (2009) – Reigning Champion – SHR!!
- #88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. (2006) – Having his best year since 2004
- #41 Kurt Busch (2006) – Looking for his 2nd Championship – SHR!!
- #19 Carl Edwards (2006)
- #2 Brad Keselowski (2003) – 2012 Champion
- #78 Martin Truex Jr. (2003) – Finished 11th the two other times he’s made the Chase
- #11 Denny Hamlin (2003)
- #1 Jamie McMurray (2000)
- #24 Jeff Gordon (2000) – 4-time Champion – Hasn’t won the Championship since 2001 – Hasn’t won all year — And in his final full season!
- #31 Ryan Newman (2000) – Didn’t win last year either, but made it to the final 4, just by being consistent
- #27 Paul Menard (2000)
- #15 Clint Bowyer (2000)
9/20 3PM – Chicago
9/27 2PM – New Hampshire
10/4 2:30PM – Dover
10/10 7PM – Charlotte
10/18 2:15PM – Kansas
10/25 2:30PM – Talladega
11/1 1:15PM – Martinsville
11/8 2PM – Texas
11/15 2:30PM – Phoenix
NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship
11/22 3PM – Homestead-Miami