With the Dover race in the record books, just eight races remain until the 2009 Sprint Cup champion is crowned. Let’s take a look at the updated championship probability table, which includes some interesting side notes.
1) The big winner at Dover was Jimmie Johnson, who nearly doubled his chance of winning the Chase.
2) Mark Martin’s second-place finish kept him in second place on this table, but his percentage moved up a good chunk, from 18 to 23.

3) Tony Stewart’s ninth-place finish dropped him from first to third here, down to 15 percent, which means he is half as likely to win the title as Johnson. The key lesson here is that top fives and wins will be necessary to win this year’s Chase, not just top 10s. Notice that Stewart is now closer in points to 12th-place Kasey Kahne than he is to points leader Mark Martin.

4) The big loser was Denny Hamlin, who finished 2 laps down in 22nd. That’s never going to get the job done.

5) Carl Edwards joins Kasey Kahne in the dreaded "less than one percent so I had to add another decimal place" category.

6) Johnson and Martin combine for 52 percent of the championship possibilities. If you include Stewart and Jeff Gordon, that’s a 79 percent chance of the title going to somebody in the Hendrick stable.

(All Left Turns contributor Dale Watermill is the creator of the Watermill Score and edits the racing statistics blog 36 Races. E-mail him at

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The Watermill Score: How to win a Sprint Cup title
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