After Sunday's race in Martinsville, we have a new updated championship probability table.
1) With the exception of already-eliminated Denny Hamlin, Jimmie Johnson's second place finish gained him points on all his Chase competitors.
2) There really isn't much to say here, with Johnson pulling off finishes like this, it's really going to take a wreck for him to lose this title. And that assumes his competitors are able to finish cleanly at the same time.
3) Mark Martin and Jeff Gordon are really the only two guys with a reasonable shot of trying to catch Johnson.
4) I know some people like to wait for drivers to be "officially mathematically eliminated", so with 4 races to go, any driver more than 644 points will be out. Technically all 12 drivers are within that number. After next week, all drivers 483 points behind will be officially knocked out.
5) But we don't need to wait till next week, since a full half of the field has no chance of winning the championship anyway. And if you consider Juan Montoya and Kurt Busch as practically having no chance too, that leaves 8 guys on the outs.
6) I don't think having a blowout like this was the intention of creating the chase. The ironic part is that if there were no chase system right now, the top 3 drivers would be separated by only 122 points. In fact the chase system has *widened* that number, making the championship less competitive than it otherwise would have been. Click here to see I made this point last year as well.
7) Not much else to say this week other than "will Johnson wreck?"
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