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NASCAR Races Into Richmond

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NASCARThis is it sports fans… the final race in which NASCAR drivers can qualify for “The Chase”. Six drivers have already qualified and only four more spots are available plus two wild cards. These twelve drivers will go on to compete for the Sprint Cup Championship over the last 10 races of the year beginning at Richmond this week and ending down at the Homestead-Miami Speedway in mid-November.

Back in 2004 NASCAR came up with their answer to the NFL and NBA Playoffs by offering race fans “The Chase” as in chase to the finish. This series is the annual finale to the Sprint Cup Championship and is often called ‘the Chase for the Cup’.

The NASCAR racing season consists of 36 races on different types of tracks all over the country.  We have the short tracks such as Dover and Richmond and the big oval tracks such as Atlanta and Daytona and we have some road races where NASCAR drivers are actually required to make right as well as left turns during the race.

After the first 26 races of the season the top 10 drivers in the point standings plus two wildcard drivers have qualified for the Chase. Each will then have his points set to 5,000 with an additional 10 points being awarded for each race that the driver won during the first 26 races of the season. No points for second or third.

This complicated process erases any big point advantage that one driver might have had over the pack and allows the 12 drivers in the Chase to start the last 10 events pretty much even… thus insuring a more competitive finale to the season.

The top six drivers who have already wrapped up a spot in the chase are Jimmie Johnson (who else?), Clint Bowyer, Kevin Harvick, Carl Edwards, Kyle Busch and Matt Kenseth.  Kasey Kahne will clinch at least a wild card spot for the finish.

Among those drivers still scrambling for a spot in the Chase are Dale Earnhardt Jr., Joey Logano, Greg Biffle and Kurt Busch hoping to make the top twelve.

But don’t cry too hard for the driver that comes in 13th. He missed out on the Chase for sure…but, as a nice little consolation prize NASCAR is awarding a one million dollar ($1,000,000) to the driver that finishes 13th in points… he will even get to go to the end of the year banquet to accept his prize.  Such a deal!

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