I took the time this week, since the Nationwide Series has off, to mock up a Chase for the Nationwide Series Championship. Ricky Stenhouse would still be the points leader heading into this off weekend. But he would only have a 6 point lead, as apposed to the 14 point lead he has right now. The other main change would be the drivers in the hunt for the Championship. Instead of a three dog race, it would be a 12 dog race. All 12 drivers are within 66 points of the lead with 6 races to go. Check out what it would look like:
|Reg Pos||Chase Pos||Numb||Driver||Chase Points||Chase Behind||Reg Behind|
Let's break it down driver by driver. Aric Almirola would move up to second from 4th, and instead of being 64 points out of it, he would be only 6 points out. Almirola is still in the hunt for the championship, but he has a bit of a mountain to climb. Under Chase rules, he would be the favorite to take Stenhouse out.
Elliott Sadler is the most consistant with this new points standings. He would lose a spot to Almirola, but he would be 2 points up from where he is now.
Justin Allgaier would gain a spot, and a handful of points on Stenhouse. Allgaier needs a lot of help in the Regular Standings, but here, he would just need to keep the #6 car in the rearview.
Michael Annett would make the biggest jump. Annett would be only 35 points out of the lead as opposed to the 214 he currently is down. The new Chase would make Annett a legitimate Championship contender.
Brian Scott would also make a leap, after his top five this Saturday, Scott would be 6th in the Chase, down just 38 points. He is currently 9th in the Standings and down 208 points.
Jason Leffler is one of those guys that will always be in the top ten, but never seems to run strong enough to be a Championship contender. Under the Chase, Leffler would be closer, but still needs plenty of help.
Reed Sorenson actually would be up 6 more points in the Chase, but would be dropped back to 8th in the standings thanks to everyone else running so well in the first 4 races of the Chase. Sorenson needs help in both standings.
Mike Bliss is no where near a Championship run this year, but with a Chase, it would make a good driver with a bad team a Championship Contender. Bliss would still be out 42 points, but it's better then 301.
Steve Wallace and Kenny Wallace would both be closer to the top, but neither seem to be a threat.
Trevor Bayne, after sitting out races with his mystery illness would be saved by the Chase, but his rough runs have already put him back 66 points. It's not great, but not a death sentence.
I'm going to be keeping track of the "Chase" the rest of the way. It will be interesting, at least to me, to see how things would have been different if we had gotten a Chase this year.