Following Sunday's race in Phoenix, Paul Menard takes a commanding 164-point lead in the FLOPPER (Finishes Last in Overall Points while Participating in Every Race) standings going into the final race of the year. So he has that going for him. Some notes of interest:
1) Menard actually has fewer points than David Stremme, who has missed the last two races of the year.
2) Menard is the only driver on this list with ZERO top-10 finishes this season.
3) The max difference between first and 43rd is 161 points. So if Menard starts the race at Homestead, he will automatically win the FLOPPER Award, which is not so much an award as a metaphorical cloak of struggle and sadness.
4) A.J. Allmendinger, despite all that "young potential" attention he has received this year, has not led a single lap all season.
5) How do these prize winnings add up? Of this list of 10 drivers, Menard has the third-most winnings. And Jamie McMurray is ninth on the list, even though McMurray just won at Talladega. I thought they gave a lot of money to winners of big races. How does this make sense?
6) It will be interesting to see if any of these guys accidentally runs into Jimmie Johnson and wreck his title hopes at Homestead ... and how many of these guys will be in FLOPPER contention next year, either by running better, or worse, by not having a full-time ride ... final FLOPPER update of the season next week, when we crown the champion of consistent inconsistency.
(All Left Turns contributor Dale Watermill is the creator of the Watermill Score and the FLOPPER Award and edits the racing statistics blog 36 Races. E-mail him at email@example.com.)
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