How would the 2013 Chase be decided with the proposed 2014 format? We did the math.

by Jan 18, 2:33 PM

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:

Pos.No.DriverTeamWins
120Matt KensethJoe Gibbs Racing5
218Kyle BuschJoe Gibbs Racing4
348Jimmie JohnsonHendrick Motorsports4
45Kasey KahneHendrick Motorsports2
529Kevin HarvickRichard Childress Racing2
699Carl EdwardsRoush Fenway Racing2
734David RaganFront Row Motorsports1
839Ryan NewmanStewart-Haas Racing1
956Martin Truex Jr.Michael Waltrip Racing1
1022Joey LoganoPenske Racing1
1116Greg BiffleRoush Fenway Racing1
1215Clint BowyerMichael Waltrip Racing0
1388Dale Earnhardt Jr.Hendrick Motorsports0
1478Kurt BuschFurniture Row Racing0
1524Jeff GordonHendrick Motorsports0
161Jamie McMurrayEarnhardt Ganassi Racing0

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.

DriverCHINHDOVTOT
Matt Kenseth484838134
Jimmie Johnson404148129
Kyle Busch434240125
Jeff Gordon393041110
Greg Biffle294135105
Kevin Harvick422438104
Ryan Newman352937101
Clint Bowyer35283598
Jamie McMurray 26393398
Kurt Busch40312394
Dale Earnhardt Jr.10394392
Martin Truex Jr.26352990
Joey Logano8314180
Carl Edwards3435978
Kasey Kahne3283171
David Ragan19151953

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.

DriverKANCLTTALTOT
Jimmie Johnson394133247
Matt Kenseth344225230
Kevin Harvick483832243
Jeff Gordon413831220
Kyle Busch114040196
Dale Earnhardt Jr.373043214
Greg Biffle312834194
Jamie McMurray 282547198
Clint Bowyer303435197
Kurt Busch423027193
Ryan Newman93735173
Martin Truex Jr.252236173

Next, to Round 3, featuring Martinsville, Texas and Phoenix. Only 8 drivers remain. Here are the results:

DriverMARTXPHXTOT
Jimmie Johnson404842377
Kevin Harvick383648352
Matt Kenseth444121349
Dale Earnhardt Jr.364241339
Jeff Gordon47631280
Kyle Busch303237313
Greg Biffle353332294
Jamie McMurray 341327272

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:

DriverHomesteadTOT
Matt Kenseth4444
Dale Earnhardt Jr.4242
Jimmie Johnson3535
Kevin Harvick3535

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?

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