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Keselowski Takes Back Chase-only Points Lead After Kansas

Thanks to his Kansas win, Matt Kenseth stays in contention for the championship in a Chase-only points system. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-US PRESSWIRE

Thanks to a solid run all day long at the suddenly treacherous Kansas Speedway, Brad Keselowski was able to regain his points lead over Jimmie Johnson by 1 point in our mythical Chase-only points system.

Remember, this mythical system only issues points to the drivers in the Chase in order to keep more Chase drivers relevant in the championship hunt by keeping the non-Chasers from factoring into the awarding of points. Also remember that in this system, the best finishing Chase driver earns 12 points, the second best earns 11, and so on down to the worst Chase driver who earns 1 point.

Last week under our imaginary system, Johnson was able to move into a tie for the points lead with Keselowski by virtue of his top-5 at Charlotte while Keselowski finished outside of the top-10 in that race. This week though, Johnson only trails Keselowski by a point which is very fortunate considering Johnson wrecked, like many others did, but was able to repair the car enough to score an amazing top-10.

Let’s take a look at the whole scope of points following Kansas:

Chicagoland New Hamp. Dover Talladega Charlotte
Keselowski

12

7

12

9

                6
Johnson

11

11

10

4

              10
Hamlin

3

12

8

5

              11
Kahne

10

8

4

7

                8
Bowyer

6

9

7

1

              12
Gordon

1

10

11

11

                2
Stewart

9

6

2

2

                5
Truex

7

2

9

6

                7
Biffle

4

1

3

10

                9
Harvick

5

5

5

8

                3
Earnhardt

8

4

6

3

                0
Kenseth

2

3

1

12

                4

 

Kansas Martinsville Texas Phoenix Homestead Total
7

53

6

52

3

42

10

47

8

43

5

40

9

33

11

42

2

29

4

30

0

21

12

34

 

Standings with a Chase only points system after Charlotte:

1. Keselowski       Leader             1 (Position in Actual Standings)

2. Johnson             -1                       2

3. Kahne                 -6                      5

4. Bowyer              -10                    4

5. Hamlin               -11                    3

tie. Truex Jr.          -11                    6

7. Gordon              -13                     8

8. Kenseth             -19                     9

9. Stewart              -20                    7

10. Harvick           -23                    10

11. Biffle                -24                    11

12. Earnhardt Jr. -32                    12

Notice how close Kasey Kahne is behind the top two, sitting in third at only six points behind. That’s an amazing change from how the points look in the real system where Kahne is stuck in a distant fifth. This system has awarded greatly for his consistency throughout the Chase.

As well, take a look at where Denny Hamlin has fallen to in this system. He’s in a tie for fifth with Martin Truex Jr. due to his mediocre run at Kansas. This place in points fits Hamlin better than the third place spot he owns in the real standings as it shows how his Chase has truly gone. Despite his dominating win at New Hampshire, Hamlin has been off of his game and has been outperformed by guys like Kahne and Bowyer. He is still very much in championship contention in this system though, especially with the Series racing at Martinsville this weekend.

This system also goes to show just how important winning is when you look at where Matt Kenseth sits in this imaginary system. He’s at 8th thanks to his two Chase wins at Talladega and Kansas. Despite Kenseth’s awful Chase races at Dover and Charlotte, he’s still a decent threat under this system that awards winning. In the real system, Kenseth still sits 10th in points even though he has two wins.

This week’s race at Martinsville creates the possibility that the points will be shaken up in a big way at least one more time in the Chase before we head to some more predictable tracks in the final three races. Be sure to check back next week to see who owns the points lead under this unique Chase-only system!

All statistical information obtained from NASCAR.com

Original idea for the Chase-only system by David Newton of ESPN.com

Follow me on Twitter for more NASCAR news and info: @Adam_Huth

Topics: Brad Keselowski, Clint Bowyer, Denny Hamlin, Jimmie Johnson, Kasey Kahne, Martin Truex Jr., Matt Kenseth, The Chase

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