Some notes of interest:
1) First off, because of the strong performances of the overall driving group, I am moving up the 12th place target level from 3,120 points to 3,149 points.
2) This 3,120 to 3,149 points upgrade, along with his bad race on Sunday, is why Juan Pablo Montoya’s qualifying probability went down from 99.96 percent last week to 99.44 percent this week. In any case, the Michigan race will not affect him all that much.
3) Matt Kenseth, Ryan Newman and Greg Biffle all had mediocre races, finishing outside of the top 10. This brought each driver’s chances down between 6 and 15 percent.
4) Like I said last week, Jeff Burton would not win Sunday, and he would be eliminated from the competition.
5) Alan Gustafson’s big fuel gamble wound up with Mark Martin finishing 31st, costing him a huge chunk of his Chase cushion.
6) The big winner, of course, was Vickers, who put himself right at the edge of Chase contention. We will see if he can use this momentum to his advantage.
7) Kyle Busch could not carry his momentum from last week into a good run at Michigan, and he finds himself back in the same bad spot as a few weeks ago.
Let’s look at the Chase qualifying probability table with three races to go:
(To understand how the probabilities are determined, click here. All Left Turns contributor Dale Watermill is the editor of 36 Races. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.)