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NASCAR Points System
Sprint Cup Chase for the Championship
2010 Rules/News

For see CLASSIC standings, if the CHASE was used from 1975-2003 and Ancient Chaseology, seasons before 2004
go to the Chase History page

How NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points are awarded? click here

The Ten 2010 Chase for the Sprint Cup Races

1) September 19 - New Hampshire Motor Speedway, 1.058 miles
2010 race Won by #33-Clint Bowyer, Chase Leader #11-Denny Hamlin +35 pts

2) September 26 - Dover International Speedway, 1 mile
2010 race Won by #48-Jimmie Johnson, Chase Leader #11-Denny Hamlin +35 pts

3) October 3 - Kansas Speedway, 1.5 miles
2010 race Won by #16-Greg Biffle, Chase Leader #48-Jimmie Johnson +8 pts

4) October 10 - Auto Club Speedway, 2.0 miles
2010 race Won by #14-Tony Stewart, Chase Leader #48-Jimmie Johnson +36 pts

5) October 16 - Charlotte Motor Speedway, 1.5 miles
2010 race Won by #1-Jamie McMurray [non chaser], Chase Leader #48-Jimmie Johnson +41 pts

6) October 25 - Martinsville Speedway, .526 mile
2010 race Won by #11-Denny Hamlin, Chase Leader #48-Jimmie Johnson +6 pts

7) October 31 - Talladega Superspeedway, 2.66 miles
2010 race Won by #33-Clint Bowyer(2), Chase Leader #48-Jimmie Johnson +14 pts

8) November 7 - Texas Motor Speedway, 1.5 miles
2010 race Won by #11-Denny Hamlin(2), Chase Leader #11-Denny Hamlin +35 pts

9) November 14 - Phoenix International Raceway, 1 mile
2010 race Won by #99-Carl Edwards, Chase Leader #11-Denny Hamlin +15 pts

10) November 21 - Homestead-Miami Speedway, 1.5 miles
2010 race Won by #99-Carl Edwards(2), Chase Leader/2010 Champ #48-Jimmie Johnson +39 pts


after each race...

The Chase for the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup
36). Homestead
35). Phoenix (2)
34). Texas (2)
33). Talladega (2)
32). Martinsville (2)
31). Charlotte (2)
30). Auto Club (2)
29). Kansas
28). Dover (2)
27). New Hampshire (2)
The Race to the Chase
26). Richmond (2)
25). Atlanta (2)
24). Bristol (2)
23). Michigan (2)
22). Watkins Glen
21). Pocono (2)
20). Indianapolis
19). Chicago
18). Daytona (2)
17). New Hampshire
Leading to the Race to the Chase
16). Infineon Raceway
15). Michigan
14). Pocono
13). Dover
12). Charlotte
11). Darlington
10). Richmod
9). Talladega
8). Texas

2010 Sprint Cup Schedule

The 2011 Chase for the Sprint Cup
The 2009 Chase for the Sprint Cup
The 2008 Chase for the Sprint Cup, name change/news/results/minor changes
The 2007 Chase for the Nextel Cup, new rules/results
The 2004-2006 Chase for the Nextel Cup, The Original Rules and News


The current CHASE & CLASSIC points standings and notes


  • Some Chase drivers choose favorite songs for the Chase: Throughout the NASCAR season – and especially during the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup – NASCAR's top drivers learn a lot about their competitors while they battle each other on the track nearly every weekend from February to November. On the track, they know their competition inside and out – off the track may be a different story, especially when it comes to their taste in music. After being on the road 38 weeks each year traveling the NASCAR circuit, each driver has had plenty of time to fine-tune the playlists on their iPods even if they can't listen to their favorite songs while racing at 180 mph around NASCAR tracks across the country each weekend.
    Taking favorite songs personally submitted by this year's championship contenders, here is the ultimate Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup playlist. From Elvis to Eminem, this 12-song compilation may surprise some of their most avid fans:
    1. "Not Afraid" – Eminem (Denny Hamlin)
    2. "Nothing Else Matters" – Metallica (Jimmie Johnson)
    3. "Walk the Line" – Johnny Cash (Kevin Harvick)
    4. "CC Rider" – Elvis (Clint Bowyer)
    5. "Jukebox Hero" – Foreigner (Carl Edwards)
    6. "Everything" – Buck Cherry (Greg Biffle)
    7. "Another Way to Die" – Disturbed (Matt Kenseth)
    8. "Love The Way You Lie" – Eminem (Denny Hamlin)
    9. "It's Now Or Never" – Elvis (Clint Bowyer)
    10. "Say It Ain't So" – Weezer (Kevin Harvick)
    11. "Enter Sandman" – Metallica (Greg Biffle)
    12. "Miracle" – Nonpoint (Matt Kenseth)
    Bonus Track: "Wired to the T" – Dorrough (Mark Martin)
    From selections like these, it's easy to see these drivers know "It's Now or Never," and won't be waiting on a "Miracle" as they put "Everything" on the line in order to hoist the NASCAR Sprint Cup trophy on Nov. 21.(Catalyst)(9-28-2010)

  • NASCAR won't inspect more Chase cars after races: NASCAR has considered taking all 12 Chase For The Sprint Cup cars following each race for more thorough inspections, but hasn't seen widespread issues that would require such extensive follow-up, NASCAR Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton said Friday. NASCAR takes the race-winning car and at least one other car to its research and development center in North Carolina after every race to make sure the car and how the body sits on the frame meets NASCAR regulations. It was in that inspection at the research and the development center that it found the race-winning car of Clint Bowyer to be illegal on Wednesday, three days after he won the first Chase race at New Hampshire. The failure of his car has prompted talk that NASCAR should take more Chase cars, and possibly all 12, following each event in the Chase. "We've done several hundred cars, and if a team has an issue, problem or [is] headed in the wrong direction, we talk about it and they go fix the problem," Pemberton said prior to practice Friday at Dover International Speedway. "We haven't had anything [illegal] in almost two years and that was light sheet metal. We haven't really had a problem. … If someday it winds up being there, fine. But right now our processes work quite well. We feel like the majority of the garage has done things correctly. From time to time, we find things that are not out of the box but are to the zero-margin. It hasn't been an epidemic in any way shape or form." The equipment used to conduct the complicated frame inspections cannot easily be moved to the track and that's one of the reasons why it is done at the research center. The plates the cars sit on during the inspection weigh thousands pounds and all of the equipment would need to be recalibrated if moved off site, Pemberton said. He said there are no plans to try to do those inspections at the Chase-determining race at Richmond nor the season finale at Homestead.(Scene Daily)(9-24-2010)

  • 12th place & the Chase: what happens if #33-Clint Bowyer finishes 43rd/last and only getting 34 points?
    #1-McMurray, 13th in drivers points, could take over 12th if he finishes 10th or better
    #5-Martin, 14th, would need to finish 9th or better
    #39-Newman, 15th, would need to finish 5th or better
    #9-Kahne, 16th, would need to finish 2nd or better
    (not taking into account, leading laps or the most laps)(9-5-2010)

  • Chase Clinch Sceneios going into Atlanta: #29-Kevin Harvick and #24-Jeff Gordon have already clinched berths in the 2010 Chase for the Sprint Cup. A number of drivers can add their names to that coveted list. Leaving Atlanta, a driver must be 196 points ahead of 13th place to officially clinch a spot in the Chase. A few seem likely to do that; others have a chance; still others might have to wait until Richmond to cement a spot. Here’s the breakdown:
    There’s no such thing as a sure thing. But these guys are as close as it gets. Below are the finishing positions each driver would need to guarantee a Chase spot this weekend, regardless of how any other driver finishes:
    3) #18-Kyle Busch
    40th or better, no laps led
    42nd or better, at least one lap led
    43rd or better, most laps led
    4) #99-Carl Edwards
    21st or better, no laps led
    23rd or better, at least one lap led
    25th or better, most laps led
    5) #11-Denny Hamlin
    20th or better, no laps led
    22nd or better, at least one lap led
    23rd or better, most laps led
    Likely Candidates - Here are a few drivers who have a better than average shot at clinching this weekend:
    6) #14-Tony Stewart
    19th or better, no led
    21st or better, at least one lap led
    23rd or better, most laps led
    7) #31-Jeff Burton
    17th or better, no laps led
    19th or better, at least one lap led
    21st or better, most laps led
    8) #17-Matt Kenseth
    15th or better, no laps led
    17th or better, at least one lap led
    19th or better, most laps led
    Finally there are the remaining drivers who can clinch this weekend. They may have to wait until Richmond to lock up their spot:
    9) #48-Jimmie Johnson
    10th or better, no laps led
    11th or better, at least one lap led
    13th or better, most laps led
    10) #2-Kurt Busch
    9th or better, no laps led
    10th or better, at least one lap led
    11th or better, most laps led
    11) #16-Greg Biffle
    4th or better, no laps led
    5th or better, at least one lap led
    7th or better, most laps led
    12) #33-Clint Bowyer
    Currently 100 points ahead of 13th, Bowyer would need to gain 96 points. Therefore, there is no finish that would guarantee a Chase spot. He would need to finish strong, and get some help.(NASCAR)(8-31-2010)

  • The "Race to the Chase": Securing a spot in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup means doing the math: 10 tracks plus 10 weeks equals intense competition. The "Race to the Chase" – the 10-week stretch that begins Sunday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and ends Saturday, Sept. 11 at Richmond International Raceway – determines the lineup for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. After race No. 26 at Richmond, the top 12 drivers in the standings compete for the NASCAR Sprint Cup title during the final 10 events. They lock down those spots during the Race to the Chase, a summer gauntlet that includes many highlights, notably the traditional Fourth of July weekend race at Daytona International Speedway and the Brickyard 400 at historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The demands begin immediately. Sunday's LENOX Industrial Tools 301 at 1.058-mile New Hampshire takes place on a flat track distinguished by its deceptively difficult turns and tight radiuses. The July 3 event at Daytona features 2.5-miles of high-banked, high-speed action – with all the accompanying holiday fireworks. The July 11 event at Chicagoland Speedway, a 1.5-mile tri-oval, is a growing tradition – Saturday-night action for a third consecutive year. Following an off week, the Race to the Chase resumes July 26 at Indianapolis and its flat, 2.5-mile rectangle. The Aug. 2 event also takes place on a 2.5-mile surface, but Pocono Raceway's triangle is very different with its three distinct turns and long straightaways. NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers hit the road on Aug. 9 for the 2.45-mile road course at Watkins Glen International. They follow on Aug. 16 at Michigan International Speedway, a flat, wide 2-mile track that accommodates numerous strategies. The Race to the Chase ends with three Saturday-night showdowns – the Aug. 21 race at .533-mile Bristol Motor Speedway, the Labor Day weekend event on Sept. 5 at 1.5-mile Atlanta Motor Speedway and race No. 26 – the cutoff event – at .75-mile Richmond, another short-track staple. Bonus points become paramount during the Race to the Chase. Chase-eligible drivers are seeded by their win totals through the first 26 races (10 points per win). The driver with the most wins earns the top seed.(NASCAR)(6-24-2010)

  • Here’s a look at how close things have been after three races in previous Chases:
    2009: Six drivers within 100 points of lead
    2008: Three drivers within 100 points of lead
    2007: Three drivers within 100 points of lead
    2006: Five drivers within 100 points of lead
    2005: Five drivers within 100 points of lead (a sixth was exactly 100 back)
    2004: Four drivers within 100 points of lead/(Virginian-Pilot)(10-5-2009)

  • How you start the season, important to make the Chase: People have caught on to how important a good start is in the Chase format, but right here is where you first read about that. We noticed it two years ago and the trends have not changed. Of the 54 drivers who've made the Chase in its first five years, 50 have been in the top 20 after four races. Forty-four have been in the top 15. And 72%, 39 of 54, were in Chase position after four races (the top 10 in 2004-06 or the top 12 the past two years). The four drivers in five years who have come from outside the top 20 after four races to make the Chase were Matt Kenseth and Jeremy Mayfield in 2005, Kevin Harvick in 2006 and Martin Truex Jr. in 2007. A lot was expected out of #5-Mark Martin. If he does turn things around and somehow comes from 34th in the driver standings to make the Chase, it would be historic. Kenseth had 339 points after four races in 2005 and still came back to make the top 10. No driver has made the Chase with a lower four-race points tally. Martin has just 286 points so far this year.(Charlotte Observer/David Poole). A few drivers outside the top 20 expected to compete for the Chase: #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. (24th), #39-Ryan Newman (32nd) and #5-Mark Martin (34th).(3-14-2009)

  • NASCAR may give "regular-season" bonus in the future: NASCAR is considering creating a reward for the winner of the "regular season" in response to the huge points lead Jeff Gordon built before the Chase for the championship. NASCAR chairman Brian France said earlier this week he is willing to explore the idea of rewarding the driver who is leading the points at the end of the 26th race of the season. Gordon built a lead of more than 300 points, but lost all of it when the field was reset this week for the Chase for the championship. NASCAR spokesman Jim Hunter said Friday that the sanctioning body will discuss the issue during the off season. Among the ideas being kicked around are awarding additional bonus points to be used in the seeding, more prize money or a trophy different from the Nextel Cup.(Associated Press/Yahoo Sports)(9-15-2007)

  • OWNERS: The Owners championship takes the same format as the drivers championship. Owners have their own Chase, so if a team uses more then one driver and is in the Top 12 after 26 races, that TEAM [not driver] would run for the Chase for the owners championship. The drivers would NOT. This means a driver in the Chase would have a team that is NOT in the chase.

  • NASCAR Announces Adjustments to ‘Chase’ Format and Points System:
    Race victories became more important than ever starting in 2007 as a result of adjustments to the points system and the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup format announced late in 2006 by NASCAR. The adjustments are designed to establish more balance between winning and consistency, but there is a new emphasis on the former. “The adjustments taken today put a greater emphasis on winning races,” said NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France. “Winning is what this sport is all about. Nobody likes to see drivers content to finish in the top 10. We want our sport – especially during the Chase – to be more about winning.”

    No Changes in 2010, these rules are the same in 2010:

    The Chase – consisting of the season’s last 10 races – will further reflect the importance of racing to win, via a variety of adjustments.

    > During the format’s first three years [2004-2006], the top 10 drivers in points after the 26th race of the season (currently Richmond International Raceway) qualified for the Chase; in addition, any other driver outside the top 10 but within 400 points of the standings’ leader was also eligible.
    Starting in the 2007 season, the 400-point cut-off is eliminated.

    Also, after Race 26, the top 12 drivers in the points will qualify for the Chase.

    > All 12 drivers will have their point totals re-set to 5,000; each will then receive a 10-point bonus for each race victory they had during the first 26 races.

    > The Chase drivers will be “seeded” to start the Chase based on the number of wins amassed during the regular season.
    Points adjustment: In line with the Chase adjustments, wins throughout the season will be more valuable.

    > Race winners throughout the 36-race season receive 185 points, a five-point increase. Counting the five-point bonuses available for leading at least one lap and leading the most laps, a race winner can earn a maximum of 195 points, creating a possible maximum of 25 points between first- and second-place finishers.

  • How does the Sprint Cup award points to drivers and owners?
    Each driver who competes in a Cup race is awarded points in the following manner: starting at 175 points, dropping 5 points from spots 1-6, 4 points from 7-11 and 3 points from 12th and lower. 43rd is worth 34 points. Bonus points are giving to any driver who leads a lap and to the driver that leads the most laps is awarded an additional 5 bonus points (in a case of a tie, both drivers get the extra points). Owners are awarded points in the same manner, PLUS they get points for attempting a race, where as drivers do not. All teams who pass inspection and fail to make the race get owner points that descend in the order of quickest non-qualifier to the slowest. Those teams earn the position/points immediately below the last car in the field. So if a team misses the race but was the fastest non qualifier the owners would get 31 points and an other drivers would follow the 3 point drop scale, down to a minimum of 1 point. See chart

    HOW NASCAR Sprint Cup Series

    NOTE: Driver Leads a Lap (under Green or Yellow Flag) gets 5 Bonus Points
    Driver who leads the most laps gets 5 Bonus Points
    as of 2004: Winning driver gets 180 points instead of 175
    as of 2007: Winning driver gets 185 points instead of 180

    Finish Finish
    Finish Finish
    WIN 185 23rd 94
    2nd 170 24th 91
    3rd 165 25th 88
    4th 160 26th 85
    5th 155 27th 82
    6th 150 28th 79
    7th 146 29th 76
    8th 142 30th 73
    9th 138 31st 70
    10th 134 32nd 67
    11th 130 33rd 64
    12th 127 34th 61
    13th 124 35th 58
    14th 121 36th 55
    15th 118 37th 52
    16th 115 38th 49
    17th 112 39th 46
    18th 109 40th 43
    19th 106 41st 40
    20th 103 42nd 37
    21st 100 43rd 34
    22nd 97    

    The driver who STARTs the race gets the points and the finishing position credit.

    In addition to the points above, any driver who leads a lap during a race receives five bonus points. The driver who leads the most laps receives an additional five bonus points.

    Owner points are calculated the same, with the exception that owners whose entries do not qualify for the race are awarded owner points according to qualifying results. These are awarded by deducting three points per position until it reaches a minimum of one point (44th = 31, 45th = 28, 46th = 25, etc., after 54th, teams get 1 point). Drivers that do not qualify receive no driver points.

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