Monday, November 16, 2009

Is the Chase Having the Opposite Effect?

We all know that the Chase was implemented to bring more drama into the championship story all the way to the end of the year.

But has that really been working?

Let's take a look at the last six years now of data:

What you see here is the difference in points between first and second in the standings with one race to go.

Notice in 2009, if we were using the old points system, there would only be an 8 point difference between first and second. With the Chase, that difference is now 100 points higher.

If you look at the trend, the difference in points under the Chase format has been going up steadily over time.
From 18 points in 2004 to above 100 points in both 2008 and 2009. This trend to less competitive title races is most disturbing of all.

With the exception of blowouts by Tony Stewart in 2005 and Jeff Gordon in 2007, the Chase hasn't really done much to bring parity to the standings this late into the season.

This is something that top brass at NASCAR should be thinking about.

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