The Sprint Cup Series already has visited eight of the 10 tracks remaining on the schedule. Want to know who will be among the favorites to win the Chase? An interesting exercise would be to see who scored the most points at those eight tracks the first time around.
Note: I am only considering the 12 drivers who made the Chase. In fact, Matt Kenseth and David Reutimann would be high on this list and Kyle Busch would be ahead of Juan Pablo Montoya - had they made the Chase.
Not surprisingly, Jimmie Johnson leads these standings. It is possible the 48 team spent most of its research time this year focused on the "Chase tracks," and let the other 18 races come to them normally.
Brian Vickers, who barely cracked this year's top 12, is also barely hanging onto the bottom of these standings. The last Chase track the series visited was Loudon 10 races ago. Since that time Vickers has been on a tear, and it’s possible he could carry that momentum to a more successful set of races the second time around.
(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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