Paul Menard finished Sunday’s race in New Hampshire a strong 34th, 13 laps off the lead. Thanks to that effort – and Robby Gordon’s decision not to run at Richmond – he now holds a triple-digit advantage in the FLOPPER standings. With only nine races to go, this might be too big of a lead for anybody else to overcome.

How about the effort by Bobby Labonte to get last-minute funding and drive his No. 71 TRG car to a lead-lap finish in 22nd place? He even led a lap, earning a total of 102 points on Sunday. If Labonte does fall short of funding for his upcoming TRG races, he might find himself in a start-and-park situation, which could quickly bring him up to the top of these 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
Related links:
Updated championship probability table: Martin closes in on Stewart
Winning in NASCAR is like counting cards
Menard takes FLOPPER lead
Chase bonus points are meaningless
Jimmie Johnson has most points at Chase tracks this season
Numbers say Cup is Stewart’s to lose
The Watermill Score: How to win a Sprint Cup title
Replacing crew chiefs has not helped Dale Earnhardt Jr.