Kenseth, Gordon latest example of Chase flaw

Jeff Gordon has won three races this year, Matt Kenseth won twice. Both are trailing Tony Stewart in the Chase standings following his win Monday at Chicagoland.

Stewart barely made the Chase and trailed Kenseth by 68 points, Gordon by 84 following Richmond before the points reset. The reset put him 9 points behind Gordon, 6 points behind Kenseth. Now  Kenseth is 17 points behind the suddenly second place Stewart while Gordon is 18 back.

A similar action happened last season temporarily when Clint Bowyer won at New Hampshire. NASCAR would then asses a penalty to the #33 car that hid the fact that Bowyer went from a bunched up tie in seventh (NASCAR says Bowyer was ceded 10th based on first half points but was tied with the other drivers when Chase started) and was suddenly second following Loudon.

Fans have questioned the Chase format saying it cheapens the first 26 races and have even questioned the events that make up the Chase’s 10 races.

After one event Gordon and Kenseth are on the verge of elimination after winning a combined 5 events and placing 14 top-10’s each, more then Stewart’s 12. They top Stewart in top-5’s as well with Gordon having 10, Kenesth having 7 and Stewart having 4. In fact Stewart’s 4 top-5’s are the tied with Dale Earnhardt Jr for the fewest among Chase drivers. Both earned top-5’s on Monday.

They may not be completely out of it but by trailing Kevin Harvick by 24 and 25 points and ranking 10th and 11th in the standings they might as well be.

The Chase was made to create a playoff atmosphere in the sport to hopefully help it compete against the NFL. The NFL has again started this year and while fans are flocking to see their teams, NASCAR is dealing with more questions about their point system, rain and penalties. (where they should assess one or if one should have been)

Hardly the way any sport would want to start their playoffs.

John Boarman
John Boarman
Founder and Owner of Tireball Sports.


  1. there is NOTHING good about the Chase.What other sport reseeds it’s players/teams with roughly 1/3 of the season remaining?ONLY NASCAR with it’s FRANCEGATE.
    It should be 43 against43 for 36 races.whoever wins wins and whoever comes in 10th comes in 10th etc..
    While it’s true that throughout the season various drivers eliminate themselves by virtue of bad finishes in theory at least 20/25 of them could still be in contention for the title with 10 races to go the Chase eliminates all but the top twelve.why is that fair?
    Suppose starting with race #27 drivers ranked 13 thru 25 win 9 of the 10 and hold at least 4of the top 5 in each race and of the top 12 drivers the highest anyone finishes is 4th.all for not thou because the top 12 are scored differently than the rest so that 1 of them will win the title and the other 11 will end the season placed 2-12.take the top 12 but score all drivers the SAME WAY.

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