With the Chase field locked, it is time to put away our Chase qualifying tables and break out our championship percentage probability tables. With 10 races to go, Tony Stewart leads all drivers with a 30 percent chance of winning the Cup.
I kicked things off with a simulated model of 14,950 potential outcomes in the next 10 races. (Yes, this is what I do for fun.) Adjust for the current points standings (5,000 through 5,040) and we get percentages for who will end the Chase with the most points.
Right now we see Stewart at the top of the list with strong competition from four guys in particular: Hendrick drivers Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson and Mark Martin, and Gibbs driver Denny Hamlin.
Stewart makes the top of the list because 4,497 combinations out of the 14,950 total end up with him winning the title. Again, these numbers are based on performance of each driver so far this year. Past performance predicts future success.
Hamlin has scored, by far, the most points in the last 12 races of the season. If he repeats that performance in the final 10, he could win the title. Unless Juan Pablo Montoya has a new trick up his sleeve, his "Chase racing" strategy will not translate to any shot at winning the title.
(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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