Coming off Mark Martin's dramatic win in New Hampshire this Sunday, we have a brand new updated table of championship probabilities.
1) Martin is now only three percentage points behind Tony Stewart, who finished 14th. This is particularly encouraging for Martin, considering he had never won at Loudon before and disliked the track so much he left it off his schedule the last two years.
2) Juan Pablo Montoya's strong run moved him higher in the points standings, but his title percentage remains very low. He'll need a lot more top fives to make a dent in these percentages. It's still possible for him to climb, though, if he can successfully upgrade his early season "points racing" strategy.
3) The top five guys on this table (Stewart, Martin, Jeff Gordon, Denny Hamlin and Jimmie Johnson) have a combined 83 percent chance of winning the title. Look at these five for your true contenders.
4) The mid-pack guys in yellow (Kurt Busch, Ryan Newman, Brian Vickers, Greg Biffle and Carl Edwards) did not do anything meaningful enough to change their situations. Their percentages stayed practically the same.
5) Kasey Kahne was never really a threat to win the title (three percent last week), so his engine failure only set him back 2.5 percentage points (to 0.5 percent).
(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 firstname.lastname@example.org.)
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