A Look to the 2008 Chase for the Sprint Cup
• The top 12 drivers following the 26th of 36 events are eligible to compete for the series title during the season’s final 10 events, or the Chase.
• The format debuted in 2004.
• Drivers have their point totals reset to 5000, and are seeded according to the number of wins they accrued over the first 26 races. Each win during that 26-race span is worth 10 bonus points.
Kyle Busch (No. 18 Toyota), the standings leader after 26 races, also is this year’s top Chase seed with a series-high eight wins (80 bonus points).
And he’s undoubtedly aware of New Hampshire’s propensity for action.
Brother Kurt Busch (No. 2 Dodge) won the inaugural Chase event there in September 2004 to establish himself as a contender. The elder Busch didn’t win another Chase race, but the momentum helped propel him to that year’s series title.
Also in that race, Chase participants Ryan Newman (No. 12 Dodge) and Tony Stewart (No. 20 Toyota) suffered engine problems and an accident, respectively, that handicapped their title chances.
The reverse held in 2005, when track troubles limited then-defending champion Kurt Busch to a 35th-place finish at New Hampshire. Stewart finished second in that season’s first Chase race, en route to his second series title.
Witness last season’s Chase kick-off at New Hampshire - a career-changing event for defending race winner Clint Bowyer (No. 07 Jack Daniel’s Chevrolet).
The then-second year driver was participating in his first Chase as the lowest, and 12th seed, and considered a title afterthought by many prognosticators.
Not only did Bowyer win his first career NASCAR Sprint Cup and Chase race, he did so from the pole, eventually finishing third in the final Chase standings.
Chasing History: Johnson Eyeing Third Consecutive Victory; Series Title
Two-time and reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Chevrolet) isn’t leading the pack as the 2008 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup begins Sunday at New Hampshire.
He’s third behind top seed Kyle Busch (5,080 points) and second seed Carl Edwards (No. 99 Ford), who has 5,050 points.
But Johnson - with 5,040 points - may be the frontrunner in the momentum department.
He’s fresh off two consecutive victories: two weeks ago in California and last week at Richmond - the cutoff event that set the 12-driver field for the Chase.
And he’s putting both out of his mind.
"I'm trying to show up at next week's race scared, worried about 11 other guys, and worry about doing my part," Johnson said. “And the thing is I have confidence in what my abilities are and what my team is capable of and the packages we have put together in the last five or six months - short track, big track, all of it.”
In addition to consecutive series titles, Johnson also has won 11 Chase races since the format’s 2004 debut, more than any other driver.
“With the way the pack is running, especially the 99 (Edwards) and the 18 (Busch), you can't show up and run at 80 percent and just hope that a top 10 is going to get the job done,” Johnson said. “You have to show up and bring your A Game each week. I feel confident that we are
there now and that we can run with these guys.”
Point Standings (through 0 of 10 Chase for the Sprint Cup events)
|Dale Earnhardt Jr.||5010|
Related PIR News
Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 31 Grainger Chevrolet, snapped a 127-race winless streak on Sunday by taking the checkered flag at the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Camping World 500 at Phoenix Raceway. Although Newman led just six laps of the 314-lap race, a late-race pit strategy by crew chief Luke Lambert led to Newman’s overtime victory, and his second Cup win at Phoenix Raceway.
Justin Allgaier, driver of the No. 7 BRANDT Chevrolet, may have run the race of his NASCAR XFINITY Series career in Saturday's DC Solar 200. Not only did he take home the victory at Phoenix Raceway in dominant fashion by leading 85 of the 200 laps, but he also won $100,000 in the first NASCAR XFINITY Series Dash 4 Cash race of the 2017 season.
As Phoenix Raceway welcomes racing fans for the first time in 2017, the anticipation is growing for the track’s modernization project. To harness the excitement during the Camping World 500 weekend, a New Phoenix Raceway Preview Center is giving fans an up-close-and-personal view of what’s to come for the Phoenix Raceway Project Powered by DC Solar.
Joey Logano, driver of the No. 22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, continued his hot streak in the desert at Phoenix Raceway on Friday’s Gatorade Pole Day. The 26-year-old followed up his win in last November's Can-Am 500 by turning in the fastest lap in qualifying to capture pole position for Sunday's Camping World 500.
The NASCAR Camping World 500 race weekend at Phoenix Raceway is all about fast cars and the state of Arizona. It seems only appropriate that six members from the cast of the upcoming movie “Car Dogs” will be on hand this weekend to serve as honorary race officials for Sunday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Camping World 500, which starts at 12:30 p.m., PT.
No Events Found