Despite all the talk about "needing to win to get those extra 10 Chase bonus points," it turns out that those bonus points have proved absolutely meaningless in seasons past. In the first few Chases, five points were awarded per rankings in the standings. Then NASCAR switched to 10 points per win. In all cases, however, those points have not had a meaningful effect on the championship.
The only thing that has mattered is how many points each driver scored in the final 10 races.
2004: The bonus points changed 0 of the 10 final standings.
2005: The bonus points changed 0 of the 10 final standings.
2006: Bonus points gave Matt Kenseth second over Denny Hamlin.
2007: Tony Stewart finished one spot ahead of seventh-place Jeff Burton because of bonus points.
2008: Kyle Busch would have been 12th instead of 10th without any bonus points.
That's it! Those are the only effects bonus points have had. So forget all the talk about "Chase seeding.” It’s nonsense and has no effect on the final standings.
(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 email@example.com.)
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