During our live, rescheduled, Pocono show, Simon Jessop in Surrey emailed for more information on Cup points scoring.
I hope the following details help Simon and any other viewers who are following our live coverage of the 2009 season.
2009 is the sixth year of the 'Chase'. The Chase was introduced in 2004 to give, potentially, more drivers a chance at a title shot, and to intensify fan interest at the business end of the season.
Since the changes the margins of victory have been close:
2004 was the closest in NASCAR Cup history, Kurt Busch beat Jimmie Johnson by just 8 points!
In 2005 Tony Stewart won from Greg Biffle and Carl Edwards by 35 points.
In 2006, Johnson beat Matt Kenseth by 56 points.
Johnson did it again in 2007, this time by 77 points from Jeff Gordon. And in a fantastic 2008 finale, Johnson beat Carl Edwards by 69points to equal the record three consecutive wins Cale Yarborough achieved in the seventies.
Additional starters or non qualifiers fall down the scale in three point increments. In addition a driver earns five points for leading a lap. 5 further points are awarded to thedriver who led the most laps.
Quotes of the week
The first 26 races of the 36 Cup season determine the top 12 drivers that will qualify for the Chase. These 12 will be the only drivers that will have a shot at the title.
After race 26, (September 12 at Richmond International Raceway), the Chase drivers' points will be reset to 5000 plus 10 points for each race win they had in the previous 26 races. This sets them apart from the rest of the field and sets up a tremendous 10 race Chase for the Sprint Cup.
Chase drivers compete with all other drivers during these final 10 races. All 43 starters battle for places and prize money and continue the season under the standard point system.
NASCAR POINTS SCORING
Additional starters or non qualifiers fall down the scale in three-point increments.
In addition a driver earns five points for leading a lap. Five further points are awarded to the driver who led the most laps.