There are still 23 races left in the 2011 Sprint Cup regular season, but thanks to NASCAR’s new point system, a few big names already find themselves in big holes after just three races.
Under the old point system, a driver who finished last received roughly 18 percent of the points that the race winner received. Under the 2011 point format, the last-place finisher receives just four percent.
In other words, a bad finish is about four-and-a-half times as harmful this season as in years past.
With a premium being placed on avoiding bad finishes, even a few poor runs can put a driver’s Chase chances in serious jeopardy. Here is a look at some of those drivers.