Bowyer, Ragan And Kahne Battle For Final Chase Spot
Bowyer, Ragan And Kahne Battle For Final Chase Spot
Loop Data: Three-For-One Special
While other Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup clinching scenarios will be playing out, the hottest battle will involve 12th-place Clint Bowyer, 13th-place David Ragan and 14th-place Kasey Kahne.
The one left standing will earn a Chase berth.
Bowyer leads Ragan by 17 points, and Kahne by 48.
Though the sample is small, based on past Richmond performances, it looks like Bowyer’s Chase spot to lose. Bowyer has five Richmond starts, while Ragan has just three. Kahne has nine.
At Richmond, Ragan has "out-pointed" Bowyer by 18 or more once – during last year’s cut-off race. Kahne has never gained 49 points on Bowyer in a Richmond race. Below are their head-to-head points and finishes at Richmond (Ragan was a rookie in 2007 and therefore does not have Richmond numbers in 2006):
Head-to-Head at Richmond – Points (Finish)
Year Bowyer Ragan Kahne
5/06 134 (10th) N/A 61 (34th)
9/06 137 (12th) N/A 170 (3rd)
5/07 138 (9th) 103 (20th) 43 (40th)
9/07 132 (12th) 165 (3rd) 142 (8th)
5/08 190 (1st) 112 (17th) 134 (10th)
Here is more on each driver going into Richmond.
Bowyer can guarantee himself a spot with a Richmond win – which he did in May – or by finishing second and leading the most laps or third and leading the most laps.
Of course, simply finishing ahead of both Ragan and Kahne will also lock up a spot. Richmond sets up perfectly for Bowyer, who has been at his best on the short tracks this season. In the four short-track races in 2008, Bowyer has four top 10s and has posted Driver Ratings over 90.0 in each of them. See his 2008 short-track statistics below:
Clint Bowyer at Short Tracks (2008)
Track Finish ARP FLR LT15% DR Led
Bristol 3 4.3 46 100 121.0 81
Martinsville 10 9.5 3 97 95.7 0
Richmond 1 9.4 7 82.4 110.8 13
Bristol 7 11.2 24 78.6 92.3 0
Total 5.3 8.6 80 89.5 105.0 94
ARP: Average Running Position
FLR: Fastest Laps Run
LT15%: Percentage of Laps in the Top 15
DR: Driver Rating
Led: Laps Led
Simply, Ragan needs to finish 18 points ahead of Bowyer (which translates to four-to-six positions), while losing less than 31 points to Kahne. Regardless of what any other driver does, he can guarantee himself a spot in the Chase by winning and leading the most laps at Richmond.
Ragan finished third at Richmond last year, which ties his career-best finish. His other two Richmond results were outside the top 15:
David Ragan at Richmond
Year Finish ARP FLR LT15% DR
5/07 20 19.9 4 14.5 66.3
9/07 3 15 11 51.5 90.7
5/08 17 21.3 0 1.0 68.1
Total 13.3 18.7 15 22.1 75.0
Kahne needs to finish well ahead of both Bowyer and Ragan to have a shot. In other words, he needs a repeat of his 2005 Richmond win – which was his first career victory – where he set track-bests in Driver Rating (147.9) and Average Running Position (1.6).
Loop Data Defined: NASCAR statistics generated from electronic scoring loops embedded around each track hosting races in NASCAR’s three national series – the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series.
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