Saturday, December 5, 2009

Comparing Different Points Standings for 2009

We all know that under the Chase format, Jimmie Johnson was the 2009 Champion. But let's take a look at some other points systems, and what would have happened.

1) If we used the Formula 1 System all year, with no Chase reset, Jimmie Johnson would have been the champion as well.

Notice non-chasers Kyle Busch and Matt Kenseth would have been in the top 12 here, replacing Ryan Newman and Brian Vickers.

We would have had a very tight race for second place among Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart, Mark Martin, and Denny Hamlin.

Only 34 drivers would have scored any points. Could you devise a system where those 34 drivers automatically qualify for the first five races of 2010?

2) If we used only the full standings after 36 races, without any Chase reset, we would see four distinct groups of drivers:

First off, Johnson, Gordon, and Stewart would be the class of the field, all within 100 points of each other.

Behind them would be the trio of Hamlin, Martin, and Kurt Busch, all between 300-400 points back.

Then you'd see a large group of eight drivers all 600-800 points behind Johnson. Notice Kyle Busch and Matt Kenseth, despite missing the Chase, outscored Vickers and Kasey Kahne by enough points to knock them out of these top 12 in points. Vickers did so poorly in the final 10 races of the year, that he would have finished 16th overall had their not been a Chase reset.

3) If we ran the Chase *without* any bonus points for wins, you would have seen an almost identical final standings. The only differences would have been swaps for 6th and 7th, along with 10th and 11th.

As we've seen in past years, these Chase bonus points are almost entirely meaningless, and not worth fighting for.

4) If you gave one point for every place (so a win equals 43 points, and a last place finish equals 1 point), then we could see the standings here:

Basically, you could quickly estimate by taking each driver's average finish. Then take 44 minus that number. So an average finish of 15 is like average points per race of 29. Multiply that number times 36 races, and you get your total.

Notice here, Jeff Gordon would have been the champion in these standings. Again we see Stewart and Johnson joining him as the best of this year's drivers.

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