THE CHASE FOR THE NEXTEL CUP

2005 RACE TO THE CHASE:  JOHNSON RUNNING OFF, TIGHT AFTER THAT

 

We pass the first quarter mark in The Race to the Chase this week at Texas, and some trends are worth noting.  JIMMIE JOHNSON continues to set a unbelievable pace with 977 points, more than any other leader at this point in the last four years.  The RTTC is much closer after Johnson, with only 151 points separating second-place GREG BIFFLE and 14th-place SCOTT RIGGS. We always keep 156 points as a benchmark because that’s how many you can lose to a competitor in a single race.

 

Perhaps the biggest surprise in the Top 10 right now is DALE JARRETT, who is 12 places higher than same time last year.  If you watched the last few races of the year, it’s not a surprise that GREG BIFFLE is in the Top 10, but few picks would have had him sitting in second at the quarter pole.

 

There are 13 drivers within 152 points of Jarrett’s coveted 10th-place spot, and there are some big names in the group.  DALE EARNHARDT JR. (16th, 83 points out), JEREMY MAYFIELD (17th, 87 points out), and MATT KENSETH (21st, 138 points out) are three 2004 Chasers who are outside at the current time.  The biggest surprises in the group are probably CARL EDWARDS (11th, 5 points out), SCOTT RIGGS (14th, 66 points out), and KYLE PETTY (19th, 102 points out). Edwards has fallen from third, however, and needs a strong run at Texas to get his momentum back.

 

THE HEAT INDEX

(Last 3 races)

RED HOT                                                                 ICE COLD

1—Jimmie Johnson            477                                          1—Bobby Hamilton Jr.        138

2—Elliott Sadler                    447                                          2—Mike Bliss                       216

3—Kasey Kahne                   446                                          3—Kurt Busch                      236

4—Mark Martin                    405                                          4—Casey Mears                  252

5—Sterling Marlin                                400                                          4—Jeff Green                       252

6—Greg Biffle                       389                                          4—Kyle Busch                      252

7—Rusty Wallace                 376                                          7—Scott Wimmer                                255

8—Dale Jarrett                     375                                          8—Joe Nemechek               256

8—Dale Earnhardt Jr.          375                                          9—Jason Leffler                  264

10—Tony Stewart                                372                                          10—Travis Kvapil                 265

10—Scott Riggs                    372

                                                                                               

 

THE TURNAROUNDS

(Position in Race to the Chase Versus Last Year at this time)

GOOD TURNS                                                                                         BAD TURNS

Rank-Driver                           05            04            Diff.                         Rank-Driver                           05            04            Diff.

1—Scott Riggs                      14            35            +21                          1—Matt Kenseth                  21            1              -20

2—Carl Edwards (99 car)    11            30            +19                          2—Earnhardt Jr.                   16            3              -13

3—Greg Biffle                       2              16            +14                          2—Scott Wimmer                                31            18            -13

4—Dale Jarrett                     10            22            +12                          4—Jeremy Mayfield            17            8              -9

5—Mark Martiin                   4              15            +11                          4—Joe Nemechek                               28            19            -9

6—Rusty Wallace                 7              17            +10                          6—Kyle Busch (5 car)          29            21            -8

6—Kyle Petty                        19            29            +10                          7—Kurt Busch                      9              2              -7

8—Jeff Green                       26            33            +7                            7—Kasey Kahne                   18            11            -7

9—Elliott Sadler                    3              9              +6                            9—Kevin Harvick                  13            7              -6

9—Jeff Gordon                     6              12            +6                           

 

(Only drivers in Top 35 are included in the rankings)

               

2005 RACE TO THE CHASE
After Race #6 of 26:  Martinsville #1

Races Left to the Chase:  20 (77%)

 

05/LW/04                                Season  Out of     Out of     Out of     LastRce Gain        Last 3     Finishes                                Top         Top                Bottom Bonus-

Driver                     Pts.         1st            10th          11th          Fin/Pts    11th          Pts          1—2—3                   5s            10s          10s       Penalty Pts

 

1/1/6-Johnson       977          --            +245        +250        8/142       +3            477          1—2—0                   4              6              0              35-25

2/2/16-Biffle           817          -160         +85          +90          29/76       -63           389          1—0—1                   2              4              0              20-0

3/5/9-ESadler         795          -182         +63          +68          9/138       -1             447          0—1—0                   1              4              0              5-0

4/10/15-MMartin    779          -198         +47          +52          3/170       +31          405          0—0—1                   2              4              0              15-0

5/3/4-Stewart        774          -203         +42          +47          26/95       -44           372          0—0—0                   1              3              0              20-0

6/12/12-JGordon   772          -205         +40          +45          1/185       +46          354          2—0—0                   3              3              1              15-0

7/9/17-RWallace     771          -206         +39          +44          5/160       +22          376          0—0—0                   1              3              0              15-0

8/11/5-Newman     753          -224         +21          +26          4/165       +27          364          0—0—0                   1              3              0              20-0

9/7/2-KuBusch       746          -231         +14          +19          19/111     -28           236          0—1—2                   3              3              1              15-0

10/8/22-Jarrett      732          -245         --             +5            14/121     -17           375          0—0—0                   1              1              0              5-0

                                                                                                                Gain

                                                                                                                10th

11/4/30-Edwards   727          -250         -5             --             38/49       -74           319          1—0—0                   2              2              1              10-0

12/11/10-Marlin     723          -254         -9             -4             6/155       +32          400          0—0—0                   0              2              1              10-0

13/6/7-Harvick       721          -256         -11           -6             32/67       -56           352          1—0—0                   2              3              0              15-0

14/14/35-Riggs      666          -311         -66           -61           21/100     -23           372          0—0—0                   1              3              0              0-0

15/15/14-McMurray 654       -323         -78           -73           25/88       -35           309          0—0—0                   1              1              0              0-0

16/17/3-ErnhrdtJr 649          -328         -83           -78           13/124     +1            375          0—0—1                   2              2              1              5-0

17/18/8-Mayfield   645          -332         -87           -82           15/123     E             359          0—0—0                   0              0              0              15-0

18/24/11-Kahne     640          -337         -92           -87           2/170       +47          446          0—1—0                   2              2              2              5-0

19/19/29-Petty       630          -347         -102         -97           18/109     -14           306          0—0—0                   0              1              1              15-0

20/16/25-Blaney     622          -355         -110         -105         34/61       -62           311          0—0—0                   0              1              2              10-0

21/28/1-Kenseth   594          -383         -138         -133         11/135     +12          325          0—0—0                   0              1              1              15-0

22/23/24-JBurton 587          -390         -145         -140         16/115     -8             288          0—0—0                   0              0              1              5-0

23/26/23-Mears     580          -397         -152         -147         17/112     -11           252          0—0—0                   0              1              1              0-0

24/20/28-Vickers  574          -403         -158         -153         35/58       -65           335          0—0—0                   0              1              2              5-0

25/21/20-Bliss        567          -410         -165         -160         36/55       -68           216          0—0—0                   0              0              2              0-0

26/29/33-JGreen                   553          -424         -179         -174         22/97       -26           252          0—0—0                   0              0              0              10-0

27/25/26-Kvapil      552          -425         -180         -175         27/82       -41           265          0—0—0                   0              1              2              5-0

28/31/19-Nemchek               547          -430         -185         -180         10/134     +11          256          0—0—0                   0              1              1              15-0

29/22/21-KyBusch 545          -432         -187         -182         39/46       -77           252          0—1—0                   1              1              2              5-25

30/27/34-Waltrip    536          -441         -196         -191         30/73       -50           330          0—0—0                   0              1              2              10-0

31/30/18-Wimmer                 521          -456         -211         -206         31/70       -53           255          0—0—0                   0              0              0              5-0

32/32/27-Schrader                498          -479         -234         -229         24/91       -32           270          0—0—0                   0              0              2              0-0

33/35/NA-Leffler   468          -509         -264         -259         12/127     +4            264          0—0—0                   0              0              3              0-0

34/37/32-Rudd       456          -521         -276         -271         7/146       +23          298          0—0—0                   0              1              3              0-0

35/33/31-Ham Jr.   429          -548         -303         -298         40/43       -70           138          0—0—0                   0              0              4              0-0

 

LEADER PACE

(The likelihood of the 400-point Wild Card will be determined by the pace set by the leader after 26 races. Here is the pace after four races)

 

2005                                        2004                                        2003                                        2002

1 J Johnson          977          1 Kenseth        898                                1 Kenseth    935                    1 Marlin                  931

10 D Jarrett           732          10 S Marlin       727                               10 J Gordon 694                   10 J Gordon          739

23 teams within 400 pts     30 teams within 400            29 teams within 400            27 teams within 400


Chase stats after Bristol
Chase stats after Atlanta
Chase stats after Las Vegas
Chase stats after California
Chase stats after Daytona
Chase stats after Homestead 2004- FINAL
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