Hendrick and technical alliance Stewart-Haas, Roush-Fenway, and Joe Gibbs Racing have 10 of the 12 spots in the Chase—the rest are one from Penske and one from Richard Childress.
In 2007, NACAR went to 12 spots in the Chase, I would guess hoping for more competition among the teams.
In 2007 and 2008, under this new format, about 90 percent of the teams that were in the top 12 after Darlington, made the Chase.
If those statistics hold true, the rest of the teams are competing for two spots, after only 13 races in a 36-race season—actually you can say a 26-race season, 10 of them belong to the Chase.
Looking at it from a fans prospective, I find it a little disappointing, we are really looking at a little over one-third of the season and there "ain't much heat here partner."
We can just about guarantee nine spots for the Chase, maybe more, are you excited yet?
Let me say this again folks, just in case, two-thirds of the season to go and we know pretty much who is going and who is not.
NASCAR has to take a look at this, they have to figure out a way to make the points system less rewarding to the top teams to even up competition and keep the Chase interesting.
As it sits now, a fan can actually take a 13-race vacation from NASCAR, come back when the Chase starts, and probably won't see much difference in the standings.
Allow me to add to the above statement, the history of the Chase tells us you won't see much change in the top 12 after Darlington. That is a statistical fact.
With me so far?
There were three Chase drivers at Dover who finished in the deep 20s, and the movement in their standings was insignificant.
I have not taken the time to compare this with other major sports, but I know I can't say for sure if the Red Sox or the Yanks are going to the playoffs, it is too early , well maybe the Yanks. (Yanks is my pet name for them...I don't like them.)
We can agree that in most sports, getting a picture of what the playoffs will look like after a third of the season, is just too early, fans will lose interest.
Can we all agree on that?
Maybe the solution is making the Chase a 20 car field—It would certainly make it more interesting until the end.
As always, this is just a fans opinion and from what I understand, everyone has one and I thank God for that.