California Chase Clinching Scenarios

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• Only 48 points separate positions four through 10 in the current NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series standings. Only 138 points separate positions four through 11. A driver can gain a maximum of 156 points over another competitor in each event.

• The 11th-place driver, Kasey Kahne, can move as high as fourth in the standings following Sunday’s Sony HD 500 at California Speedway.

• Any driver in positions four through 10 can fall from the top 10 following Sunday’s event.

• Drivers in positions four through 10 can clinch a spot in the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup following Sunday’s event.

• No top-10 driver will be mathematically eliminated from the Chase even if he finishes 43rd (last) at California.

• Kevin Harvick will clinch a Chase berth with a finish of third or better in Sunday’s event, no matter where another competitor finishes. Harvick also can clinch if he finishes lower than third, as long as his advantage over 11th place is 191 points or greater after the Sony HD 500.

• Harvick can fall as low as 10th in the standings following Sunday’s event.

• Also important: Top-10 drivers are racing for the highest finish in the standings before the Chase begins. Although the point separation to start the Chase is a mere five points per position, the 2004 series title was decided by eight points. The 2005 title margin was 35 points.

• Any driver with a lead of 191 points or more over 11th place following Sunday’s event will clinch a spot in the Chase. (Note: The clinching method used by NASCAR does not assume that a driver will be able to start all of the remaining races, although that is likely.)

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