THE CHASE FOR THE NEXTEL CUP

2005 RACE TO THE CHASE:  FOUR NEW TEAMS IN, FOUR OUT

 

Four races into the 26 that comprise The Race to the Chase, it’s interesting to note the good and bad fortunes of the four 2004 Chasers that are out, and the four non-Chasers from 2004 who have at least temporarily replaced them in the Top 10.  NEW TEAMS IN THE TOP 10:  GREG BIFFLE (2nd), CARL EDWARDS (3rd), RUSTY WALLACE (9th), JAMIE MCMURRAY (10th).   No doubt Edwards is the biggest surprise in the Top 10, and is a strong third with a win already in his belt. 

 

2004 CHASERS OUT FOR NOW:  JEFF GORDON (12th), JEREMY MAYFIELD (21st), DALE EARNHARDT JR. (26th), MATT KENSETH (31ST).  Gordon’s only 11 points out of 10th place, so no need to panic at all.  Kenseth is a long, long way back, but Roush owns four of the top five spots in the standings and the #17 has truly had a bad run of luck. It could turn around and this team and driver are capable of reeling off top 5 and top 10 finishes in bunches. The real question mark is the #8. Earnhardt Jr. has only been competitive at Daytona. Bristol is another golden opportunity for this team to get back on track. It desperately needs something good to happen. COMEBACK BAROMETER:  MARK MARTIN came back from the farthest out at this time last year to make the 2004 Chase. He left Atlanta last year in 17th.

 

Last year’s rookie sensation, KASEY KAHNE, made a bid to bring his early sophomore slump to an end with a fifth place at Atlanta, moving up 10 spots in the standings.

 

 

 

THE HEAT INDEX

(Last 5 races, counting last race of 2004 and first 4 of 2005)

RED HOT                                                                 ICE COLD

1—Jimmie Johnson            850                                          1—Mike Wallace                   331

2—Greg Biffle                       788                                          2—Bobby Labonte               382

3—Kurt Busch                      737                                          3—Ricky Rudd                      385

4—Carl Edwards                  714                                          4—Kasey Kahne                   398

5—Tony Stewart                  683                                          5—Ken Schrader                  401

6—Mark Martin                    674                                          6—Joe Nemechek               431

7—Jeff Gordon                     629                                          7—Jeff Green                       432

8—Rusty Wallace                 624                                          8—Bobby Hamilton Jr.        440

9—Jamie McMurray            621                                          9—Matt Kenseth                  445

10—Kevin Harvick                603                                          10—Earnhardt Jr.                 459

                                                                                               

 

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—Carl Edwards (99 car)    3              30            +27                          1—Matt Kenseth                  31            1              -30

2—Greg Biffle                       2              23            +21                          2—Bobby Labonte               37            10            -27

3—Scott Riggs                      18            33            +15                          3—Kasey Kahne                   28            4              -24

4—Rusty Wallace                 9              21            +12                          4—Earnhardt Jr.                   26            3              -23

4—Jeff Burton (31 car)        20            32            +12                          5—Joe Nemechek               29            13            -16

4—Mark Martin                    5              17            +12                          6—Jeremy Mayfield            21            7              -14

7—Michael Waltrip               27            36            +9                            7—Ricky Rudd                      39            26            -13

8—Jimmie Johnson            1              9              +8                            8—Jeff Gordon                     12            5              -7

9—Jeff Green                       23            31            +8                            8—Travis Kvapil (77 car)     32            25            -7

10-Brian Vickers                  22            28            +6                            10-Tony Stewart                  7              2              -5

10-Jamie McMurray            10            16            +6           

 

 

2005 RACE TO THE CHASE
After Race #4 of 26:  Atlanta #1

Races Left to the Chase:  22

 

05/LW/04                                Season  Out of     Out of     Out of     LastRce Gain        Last 5     Finishes                                Top         Top                Bottom Bonus-

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

 

1/2/9-Johnson       680          --            +205        +211        2/180       +68          850          1—2—0                   4              4              0              30-25

2/3/23-Biffle           598          -82           +123        +129        3/170       +58          788          1—0—1                   2              3              0              15-0

3/5/30-Edwards     593          -87           +118        +124        1/185       +73          714          1—0—0                   2              2              0              10-0

4/1/6-Ku Busch      577          -103         +102        +108        32/67       -41           737          0—1—2                   3              3              0              10-0

5/9/17-Martin         539          -141         +64          +70          4/165       +53          674          0—0—0                   1              3              0              10-0

6/8/11-Newman     515          -165         +40          +46          14/126     +14          589          0—0—0                   0              2              0              15-0

7/6/2-Stewart        514          -166         +39          +45          17/112       E            683          0—0—0                   0              2              0              10-0

8/13/8-ESadler       482          -198         +7            +13          10/134     +22          543          0—0—0                   0              2              0              0-0

9/7/22-RWallace     477          -203         +2            +8            27/82       -30           624          0—0—0                   0              2              0              0-0

10/14/16-McMurray 475       -205         --             +6            11/130     +18          621          0—0—0                   1              1              0              0-0

                                                                                                                Gain

                                                                                                                10th

11/10/12-Harvick   469          -211         -6             --             21/100     -18           603          0—0—0                   1              2              0              10-25

12/4/5-JGordon     464          -216         -11           -5             39/46       -103         629          1—0—0                   2              2              1              5-0

13/14/14-Bliss        460          -220         -15           -9             18/109     +3            503          0—0—0                   0              0              0              0-0

14/18/24-Blaney     458          -222         -17           -11           8/147       +41          NA           0—0—0                   0              1              1              10-0

15/11/15-DJarrett  456          -224         -19           -13           23/99       -7             547          0—0—0                   0              0              0              5-0

16/17/18-Marlin     438          -242         -37           -31           16/115     +9            553          0—0—0                   0              1              1              5-0

17/15/19-Mears     434          -246         -41           -35           19/106     E              519          0—0—0                   0              1              0              0-0

18/21/33-Riggs      432          -248         -43           -37           9/138       +32          550          0—0—0                   1              2              0              0-0

19/22/20-Ky Busch 420         -260         -55           -49           12/127     +21          NA           0—1—0                   1              1              1              5-25

20/20/32-JBurton  417          -263         -58           -52           15/118     +12          472          0—0—0                   0              0              0              5-0

21/26/7-Mayfield   410          -270         -65           -59           13/124     +18          468          0—0—0                   0              0              0              10-0

22/30/28-Vickers 389          -291         -86           -80           6/150       +44          498          0—0—0                   0              1              1              5-0

23/27/31-JGreen   380          -300         -95           -89           28/79       -27           432          0—0—0                   0              0              0              10-0

24/16/27-Petty       379          -301         -96           -90           36/55       -51           NA           0—0—0                   0              0              1              15-0

25/29/21-Wimmer 369          -311         -106         -100         20/103     -3             493          0—0—0                   0              0              0              5-0

26/27/3-ErnhrdtJr 365          -315         -110         -104         24/91       -15           459          0—0—1                   1              1              1              5-0

27/35/36-Waltrip    352          -328         -123         -117         7/146       +40          464          0—0—0                   0              1              2              5-0

28/38/4-Kahne       349          -331         -126         -120         5/155       +49          398          0—0—0                   1              1              2              5-0

29/24/13-Nemchek 349        -331         -126         -120         35/58       -48           431          0—0—0                   0              0              1              15-0

30/23/29-Ham Jr    340          -340         -135         -129         38/49       -57           440          0—0—0                   0              0              2              0-0

31/28/1-Kenseth   339          -341         -136         -130         31/70       -36           445          0—0—0                   0              1              1              5-0

32/25/25-Kvapil      324          -356         -151         -145         42/37       -69           NA           0—0—0                   0              0              2              5-0

33/31/34-Schrader313          -367         -162         -156         26/85       -21           401          0—0—0                   0              0              2              0-0

34/36/NA-Leffler   292          -388         -183         -177         25/88       -18                           0—0—0                   0              0              2              0-0

35/34/NA-Lepage 281          -399         -194         -188         30/73       -33           NA           0—0—0                   0              1              0              0-0

 

 

OUTSIDE AUTOMATIC QUALIFYING

36/33/35-MWallace267          -413         -208         -202         40/43       -63           331          0—0—0                   0              0              2              5-0

37/37/10-BLabonte250         -430         -225         -219         37/52       -54           382          0—0—0                   0              0              3              0-0

38/32/41-Andretti  225          -455         -250         -244         NA           -106         NA           0—0—0                   0              0              0              0-0

39/38/26-Rudd       222          -458         -253         -247         33/64       -42           385          0—0—0                   0              0              2              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          680          1 Kenseth        673                                1 Kenseth    618                    1 Marlin                  645

10 J McMurray      475          10 B Labonte  469                 10 Ernhrt Jr 474                    10 J Johnson        517

34 teams within 400 pts     35 teams within 400            41 teams within 400            37 teams within 400


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