The NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship is a three-way dead heat. Only 46 points separate third place Kevin Harvick from leader Denny Hamlin and one of these men will join an impressive list of past Cup Champions.
NASCAR's point system is a confusing menagerie including a sliding scale of points based on finishing place, bonus points, penalties and crew chief shoe size. Since NASCAR refuses to institute simple scoring for the Sprint Cup champion, viewers can refer to this simple roadmap for how each driver can be crowned the 2010 Sprint Cup Champion.
As the current leader, if Denny leads the most laps and comes in first or second, he's the winner. Denny can also win the championship if he finishes higher than fifth and one of following happen:
- Harvick finishes tenth or worse while Jimmie Johnson is attacked by venomous snakes
- Hamlin's crew chief Mike Ford wins Homestead's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest during pre-race inspection
- Greg Biffle wrecks Jimmie Johnson while arguing which Eagles song is the greatest ("Desperado" vs. "Life In The Fast Lane")
- Jeff Gordon wins the race, but is then penalized for dropping a pre-race deuce in Jeff Burton's toilet
While many of asked if what's good for Jimmie is bad for NASCAR. Johnson and the 48 team have the opportunity for an unprecedented fifth consecutive title if these simple events unfold during the race:
- Johnson leads the most laps and finishes no lower than third
- Harvick wins the race, but then is penalized 150 points for being Clint Bowyer's teammate.
- Jimmie is awarded ten bonus points for eating all his vegetables
- Matt Kenseth wins the race, climbs out of his car, pulls off a his disguise to reveal he's actually Gloria Estefan of the Miami Sound Machine and then leads the grandstand in a chorus of "The Rhythm Is Gonna Get You."
Kevin Harvick needs a little help in order to win the title. Harvick would need to win the race while finishing at least seven places ahead of Hamlin or Johnson. Additionally, Harvick would need all of the following things to occur during the race:
- Denny Hamlin oversleeps and can't make the race
- A bikini fight breaks out in Turn 2 forcing the other 42 drivers to slow down and watch. Meanwhile, Harvick laps the entire field several times
- ESPN's in-car camera catches Elliot Sadler sipping dried soup from his beard for in-race nourishment
- On the first lap, Harvick accelerates to 88 mph, travels back in time to Homestead circa 1955 where he must ensure his parents fall in love, rock a guitar solo at the school dance and then harness the power of lightning to travel back to 2010 where he finishes second.