With the news coming out last night of NASCAR’s reported radical change in the points system for the upcoming season (if you haven’t read it, click here), we’ve decided to apply those rules for the 2013 season and see how it’d all pan out.
According to the report, 16 teams would make the Chase, with positions first going to full-time series contenders who won a race through the first 26 races of the season. That gives us 13 drivers: Matt Kenseth, Kyle Busch, Jimmie Johnson, Kasey Kahne, Kevin Harvick, Carl Edwards, Brian Vickers, David Ragan, Ryan Newman, Martin Truex Jr., Tony Stewart, Joey Logano and Greg Biffle. Because Brian Vickers wasn’t a full-time driver, and Tony Stewart got injured, those 2 names have been removed from the list. That now leaves us with 11 drivers, and 5 open spots.
The report states “should 16 drivers not win races, the remaining slots would be filled by the drivers highest in points.” Drivers with the highest points without a win at the end of the Richmond race were: Clint Bowyer, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kurt Busch, Jeff Gordon and Jamie McMurray.
Also, we’re going to omit the entire MWR spingate after Richmond, just to make things easier. So ladies and gents, welcome to your 2013 Chase field, with the proposed 2014 rules enforced:
|1||20||Matt Kenseth||Joe Gibbs Racing||5|
|2||18||Kyle Busch||Joe Gibbs Racing||4|
|3||48||Jimmie Johnson||Hendrick Motorsports||4|
|4||5||Kasey Kahne||Hendrick Motorsports||2|
|5||29||Kevin Harvick||Richard Childress Racing||2|
|6||99||Carl Edwards||Roush Fenway Racing||2|
|7||34||David Ragan||Front Row Motorsports||1|
|8||39||Ryan Newman||Stewart-Haas Racing||1|
|9||56||Martin Truex Jr.||Michael Waltrip Racing||1|
|10||22||Joey Logano||Penske Racing||1|
|11||16||Greg Biffle||Roush Fenway Racing||1|
|12||15||Clint Bowyer||Michael Waltrip Racing||0|
|13||88||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||Hendrick Motorsports||0|
|14||78||Kurt Busch||Furniture Row Racing||0|
|15||24||Jeff Gordon||Hendrick Motorsports||0|
|16||1||Jamie McMurray||Earnhardt Ganassi Racing||0|
So we're set. The proposed 2014 rules state "Once the field is set for the Chase and re-seeded, the four lowest in points among Chase contenders would be eliminated from title contention after the third, sixth and ninth race in the Chase."
So let's look at the first 3 races at Chicagoland, New Hampshire and Dover. Logano, Edwards, Kahne and Ragan would be eliminated from contention.
|Dale Earnhardt Jr.||10||39||43||92|
|Martin Truex Jr.||26||35||29||90|
Now, the proposed rules state that points are only reset for the final race, so we're assuming that the points carry over to the next "round" of races. After Kansas, Charlotte and Talladega, here's how the results are looking. Bowyer, Kurt Busch, Newman and Truex Jr. would all be eliminated.
|Dale Earnhardt Jr.||37||30||43||214|
|Martin Truex Jr.||25||22||36||173|
Next, to Round 3, featuring Martinsville, Texas and Phoenix. Only 8 drivers remain. Here are the results:
|Dale Earnhardt Jr.||36||42||41||339|
McMurray, Biffle, Kyle Busch, and Jeff Gordon would now be eliminated. Which leaves us with Jimmie Johnson, Kevin Harvick, Matt Kenseth and Dale Earnhardt Jr.
For the final race of the season, the proposed rule states "The four remaining contenders would enter the season finale reset with the same amount of points. The driver who earned the most points in the season finale would be the series champion." Here's how the points were dished out at the end of the race:
|Dale Earnhardt Jr.||42||42|
Which would have made Matt Kenseth your 2013 Sprint Cup Series Champion. Of course we never accounted for bonus points for winning in the regular season, because they weren't mentioned in the new proposed rules, so there's a chance they could be done away with for this season.
So what do you think? Fan or not of the new changes?