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CraZy LuDiCrOuS
2017 Chevrolet Equinox
Joined
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4,990 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a very analytical mind and when I would see on social media (mainly Facebook and Twitter) people complaining about Denny Hamlin leading the points over Kyle Larson (pre-playoff), I created a spreadsheet to document their finishes to show how Denny was able to lead Kyle despite having zero wins to Kyle's 5 wins (at the time). It did help some people understand (others were hopeless).

Since the points battle for 1st was so tight (and going back and forth right through Daytona 2), I decided to keep track of the points as if there was no playoffs. I included every driver that started all of the races (or only missed 1-2 races) just to see how the points would shake up. For the season, only 32 drivers qualify for the list.

Of course, we don't know how the points would change if we had the old style championship format (most points over 36 races) as drivers would race differently (play it safer instead of going for wins...be more competitive even after winning race instead of trying something new and having a bad race...etc).

The most interesting thing I saw was that when the playoffs started, with 10 races to go, 27 drivers were "mathematically" still in the hunt for the title. With 10 races to go and a maximum of 60 points available per race, anyone within 600 points of Kyle Larson (points leader after Daytona with 1027 points) was "mathematically" still in the hunt.

Now, through 2 rounds of the playoffs, with only 4 races left to go, it is a 2 driver race for the season long title. Hamlin vs Larson. A mere 24 point difference between first and second. Every other driver has been mathematically eliminated.

I highlighted the playoff drivers in yellow and as each round of the playoffs ended, those eliminated had their color changed (red for a first round exit, orange for a second round exit).

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CraZy LuDiCrOuS
2017 Chevrolet Equinox
Joined
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4,990 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Just for comparison purposes, here is the spreadsheet I made for the races finishes for Hamlin and Larson (updated through the Roval). This does not include the bonus playoff points for winning a stage, winning a race or the regular season Top 10 points as they were not included in the points during the "regular" season. The season long does not include the bonus playoff points either. I chose not to include them as those are special points just for the playoffs.

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