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
3Tony Stewart11918710
8Ryan Newman110317510119
5Matt Kenseth118098473
7Kyle Busch112415412157
9Kurt Busch108719111141
2Kevin Harvick120078358
4Jimmie Johnson118890699
6Jeff Gordon11501288116
11Dale Earnhardt Jr.10712077113
12Clint Bowyer1047231131356
1Carl Edwards1278020
10Brad Keselowski1079199584
2010 Top 12 (cumulative rank vs. Chase rank)
RankDriverPointsBehindChase RankBehind
8Tony Stewart46286467401
7Matt Kenseth46406345328
6Kyle Busch46476278440
9Kurt Busch445981511480
1Kevin Harvick52740341
2Jimmie Johnson498928510
5Jeff Gordon46696059446
10Jeff Burton442385112589
11Greg Biffle44148606375
3Denny Hamlin4865409239
12Clint Bowyer437689810467
4Carl Edwards48204544229
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
7Dale Earnhardt Jr.460563112557
12Matt Kenseth431692011500
3Kyle Busch498425210498
9Tony Stewart44877499482
11Denny Hamlin44397978470
8Jeff Gordon45376997368
5Jeff Burton47095276349
9Clint Bowyer44877495303
6Kevin Harvick46915454276
4Greg Biffle47474893217
1Carl Edwards52360269
2Jimmie Johnson52201610
2007 Top 12 (cumulative rank vs. Chase rank)
RankDriverPointsBehindChase RankBehind
1Jeff Gordon54550277
2Jimmie Johnson501235310
3Tony Stewart46497066481
4Matt Kenseth47187374425
5Denny Hamlin462383212580
6Kyle Busch45858705430
7Carl Edwards45748819501
8Clint Bowyer45568993346
9Jeff Burton45499068492
10Kurt Busch437110847492
11Kevin Harvick4344111110524
12Martin Truex Jr.4314114111580
2006 Top 10 (cumulative rank vs. Chase rank)
RankDriverPointsBehindChase RankBehind
10Mark Martin448467410307
9Kasey Kahne44976619292
8Jeff Burton45356237247
7Jeff Gordon45675916219
6Dale Earnhardt Jr.46415175147
5Denny Hamlin4725433368
4Tony Stewart4727431111748
3Kevin Harvick4838320478
2Matt Kenseth51544256
1Jimmie Johnson5158010
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
10Elliott Sadler43157279482
9Ryan Newman43616817326
8Matt Kenseth43766668437
7Jamie McMurray4597445111909
6Mark Martin45974454107
5Tony Stewart47013416180
4Kurt Busch479524710
3Dale Earnhardt Jr.48691735138
2Jimmie Johnson49954728
1Jeff Gordon50420316

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


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