Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Jimmie Johnson 29 Percent, Mark Martin 23 Percent: Chase Winning Percentages for Every Driver

After Dover's race this past Sunday, we now have only eight more races to go in the 2009 season.

Time for another updated probability table. Some interesting notes:

1) The big winner this week was Jimmie Johnson, who nearly doubled his chance of winning the chase.

2) Mark Martin's second place finish kept him in second place on this table, but his percentage moved up a good chunk from 18 to 23.

3) Tony Stewart's ninth place finish dropped him from first to third here, down to 15 percent, only half of Johnson's title chances. The key lesson here is that top fives and wins will be necessary to win this year's chase, not just top 10s. Notice that Stewart is now closer in points to 12th place Kasey Kahne than he is to points leader Mark Martin.

4) The big loser was Denny Hamlin, who finished 2 laps down in 22nd. That's *never* going to get the job done.

5) Carl Edwards joins Kasey Kahne in the dreaded "less than one percent so I had to add another decimal place" category.

6) Johnson and Martin combine for 52 percent of the championship possibilities. If you include Stewart and Jeff Gordon, that's a 79 percent chance of the title going to somebody in the Hendrick stable.

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