Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Statistics and common sense show why Kyle Busch should miss the Chase. NASCAR should make no tweaks because of this.

Everyone keeps talking about how important it is to have Kyle Busch in this year's Chase.

Most ridiculous is the talk that he *deserves* to be in this year, or that NASCAR should accommodate him by making rules changes in the future.

I disagree. Here's why.

Even though he's tied for first in wins, notice that he is:

Tied for 14th in Top 10s
15th in laps completed
Tied for 16th in races running at the finish
Tied for 17th in lead lap finishes
20th in miles completed

What part of this suggests that he should be a top 12 driver, let alone have a chance at being the number one driver?

Also, using my Watermill score approximator, Kyle Busch is tied for 15th in the Watermill score. Remember this score is the best simple approximator of the current NASCAR points system. It combines Wins plus Top 10s plus races running at finish plus lead lap finishes.

70 Tony Stewart
65 Jeff Gordon
64 Jimmie Johnson
62 Denny Hamlin
62 Mark Martin
59 Juan Montoya
59 Kasey Kahne
59 Kurt Busch
58 Carl Edwards
58 Greg Biffle
58 Ryan Newman
57 Matt Kenseth
56 Brian Vickers
55 David Reutimann
54 Clint Bowyer
54 Kyle Busch


See how low Kyle is on this standings. The top 11 on this score made the Chase. Busch is behind Kenseth, Vickers, and Reutimann here. His lack of consistency keeps him out, and by any measure he hasn't performed up to speed this year.

Remember he's only 14th as far as Top 10s go. He only has 2 DNFs, but he has 7 races where he finished off the lead lap. And he has 8 lead lap finsihes where he was outside the Top 10.

NASCAR is not to blame for Busch missing the Chase. As it is, 12 drivers is probably too many to include, and if Busch can't get himself in the top 12, nobody should complaining for *another* points tweak, just to put him in this freak scenario where his season was so volatile.

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