Let the Chase for the Sprint Cup begin

Let the Chase for the Sprint Cup begin

NASCAR's Chase for the Sprint Cup gets underway at Chicagoland this weekend with just 12 drivers in the hunt for the title over the remaining 10 races. Diego Mejia assesses the strengths and weaknesses of the field

The 2012 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup features a number of changes compared to previous seasons. The alterations to what has become a successful system have had and will have a knock-on effect on what is to follow.

Firstly; two of the 12 eligible drivers have made their way in by virtue of their win tallies during the regular season (although the two drivers in question, Brad Keselowski and Denny Hamlin, lay in 11th and 12th spots in the points anyway after last weekend's Richmond race). Both drivers enter the 10-race playoff with 2000 points and inelgible for the three-point bonus that is awarded for each win to the 10 highest-placed drivers in the table at the end of the regular season. This particularly affects Keselowski, who is giving away nine points to his rivals as a result of his wildcard status.

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