NASCAR Sprint Cup cumulative point standings staff

Five times in the eight-year history of the Chase, the driver who would have been crowned champion under the traditional (cumulative) points system differed from the driver who took the title in the Chase system, where the points are adjusted for Chase qualifiers prior to the final 10 races.

In 2004, Kurt Busch captured the Chase title, but under the old system, Gordon would have won his fifth championship by 47 points over Jimmie Johnson (Busch would have placed fourth, 247 points behind).

In 2007, Gordon earned a modern-era record 30 top-10 finishes in 36 races, which would have amounted to a 353-point victory over Johnson in the final standings using the traditional points system. But Johnson's four victories during the Chase gave him the title by 77 points.

In 2008, despite a 100-point penalty during the season, Carl Edwards, who led the series with nine victories, would have taken the traditional points title by 16 points. Instead, Johnson captured his third consecutive Chase title by 69 points over Edwards.

In 2010, Kevin Harvick was the only driver to average a top 10 finish (8.7) on the season, scoring three wins and 16 top fives, while leading the series with 26 top 10s. He accrued 5,274 total points, 285 more than Johnson. But in the Chase, it was Johnson again, as he claimed his fifth straight title, 39 points ahead of Denny Hamlin and 41 in front of Harvick.

In 2011, Edwards was the bridesmaid again. While he tied Tony Stewart atop the final Chase standings, Stewart was crowned champion by virtue of having five victories (all during the Chase) to just his one. For the season, Edwards had a series-high 19 top fives and 26 top 10s to earn 78 more points overall than Harvick.

In 2005, either format would have crowned Tony Stewart champion. In 2006, Johnson would have won under both formats, though by a slim four points in the traditional system, compared to 56 in the Chase. Johnson would prevail under either format in 2009 as well.

(Chase for the Championship)

2011 Top 12 (cumulative rank vs. Chase rank) -- through 36 races
RankDriverPointsBehindChase RankBehind
1Carl Edwards1278020
2Kevin Harvick120078358
3Tony Stewart11918710
4Jimmie Johnson118890699
5Matt Kenseth118098473
6Jeff Gordon11501288116
7Kyle Busch112415412157
8Ryan Newman110317510119
9Kurt Busch108719111141
10Brad Keselowski1079199584
11Dale Earnhardt Jr.10712077113
12Clint Bowyer1047231131356
2010 Top 12 (cumulative rank vs. Chase rank)
RankDriverPointsBehindChase RankBehind
12Clint Bowyer437689810467
11Greg Biffle44148606375
10Jeff Burton442385112589
9Kurt Busch445981511480
8Tony Stewart46286467401
7Matt Kenseth46406345328
6Kyle Busch46476278440
5Jeff Gordon46696059446
4Carl Edwards48204544229
3Denny Hamlin4865409239
2Jimmie Johnson498928510
1Kevin Harvick52740341
2009 Top 12 (cumulative rank vs. Chase rank)
RankDriverPointsBehindChase RankBehind
1Jimmie Johnson5156010
5Mark Martin47623942141
2Jeff Gordon5090663179
6Kurt Busch47583984206
4Denny Hamlin48063505317
3Tony Stewart5085716343
7Greg Biffle45416157360
8Juan Pablo Montoya45036538400
10Ryan Newman44477099477
11Carl Edwards439875811534
9Kyle Busch4457699132195
12Matt Kenseth4389767142263
2008 Top 12 (cumulative rank vs. Chase rank)
RankDriverPointsBehindChase RankBehind
12Matt Kenseth431692011500
11Denny Hamlin44397978470
9Clint Bowyer44877495303
9Tony Stewart44877499482
8Jeff Gordon45376997368
7Dale Earnhardt Jr.460563112557
6Kevin Harvick46915454276
5Jeff Burton47095276349
4Greg Biffle47474893217
3Kyle Busch498425210498
2Jimmie Johnson52201610
1Carl Edwards52360269
2007 Top 12 (cumulative rank vs. Chase rank)
RankDriverPointsBehindChase RankBehind
2Jimmie Johnson501235310
1Jeff Gordon54550277
8Clint Bowyer45568993346
4Matt Kenseth47187374425
6Kyle Busch45858705430
3Tony Stewart46497066481
10Kurt Busch437110847492
9Jeff Burton45499068492
7Carl Edwards45748819501
11Kevin Harvick4344111110524
12Martin Truex Jr.4314114111580
5Denny Hamlin462383212580
2006 Top 10 (cumulative rank vs. Chase rank)
RankDriverPointsBehindChase RankBehind
1Jimmie Johnson5158010
2Matt Kenseth51544256
5Denny Hamlin4725433368
3Kevin Harvick4838320478
6Dale Earnhardt Jr.46415175147
7Jeff Gordon45675916219
8Jeff Burton45356237247
9Kasey Kahne44976619292
10Mark Martin448467410307
4Tony Stewart4727431111748
2005 Top 10 (cumulative rank vs. Chase rank)
RankDriverPointsBehindChase RankBehind
1Tony Stewart5199010
2Greg Biffle4984215235
5Carl Edwards4597602335
4Mark Martin46765234105
3Jimmie Johnson47714285127
8Ryan Newman44097906174
7Matt Kenseth44517487181
6Rusty Wallace45126878393
9Jeremy Mayfield42819189460
10Kurt Busch424895110559
2004 Top 10 (cumulative rank vs. Chase rank)
RankDriverPointsBehindChase RankBehind
1Jeff Gordon50420316
2Jimmie Johnson49954728
3Dale Earnhardt Jr.48691735138
4Kurt Busch479524710
5Tony Stewart47013416180
6Mark Martin45974454107
7Jamie McMurray4597445111909
8Matt Kenseth43766668437
9Ryan Newman43616817326
10Elliott Sadler43157279482

NOTE: Drivers who did not make the Chase denoted in bold


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