Head2Head: Will a Chaser win every postseason race in 2012?

NASCAR.com

We are four races into the 2012 Chase for the Sprint Cup, and we have had four races won by three different drivers -- all of whom are involved in the "postseason" race for the championship. Obviously, the guys in the Chase are there for a reason -- rising to the top after 26 grueling races. These drivers are the best. But does their domination mean that they will completely hog Victory Lane going forward? Will a Chaser win every postseason race in 2012? Mark Aumann and Nick Margiasso are on opposite sides of the spectrum. Read their arguments and weigh in with your comments below.

Will a Chaser win every postseason race in 2012?



YES NO

Are you kidding, have you been watching this Chase? The guys "in the points" are on another level. Chasers are already -- and will continue -- dominating this year's postseason and will win every race within it; this season more than ever.

In 83 Chase races in nine seasons, you know how many non-Chasers have ever won "postseason" races? Fifteen out of 83. And, in the last six seasons, only five drivers have won a Chase race that weren't in the race for the Sprint Cup -- five in the last 53 chances. Three of those drivers are in this current Chase.

So, basically, two random non-Chase drivers -- guys who aren't consistently in the "postseason" year-in and year-out -- win a Chase race in every 53. Not very good odds on a non-Chase driver taking one of these things.

This season, a non-Chase driver hasn't finished higher than third in the four postseason races so far.

That would be less if it weren't for the Big One at 'Dega, strong runs by a guy who should be in the Chase if not for a choke-job (Kyle Busch) and one of the legends of the sport (Mark Martin). It's not like Paul Menard or Aric Almirola is knocking on the door here, people.

Now, more than ever, Chase drivers aren't letting up at all. And that's leading to wins and more wins. Don't expect that to change soon -- especially in 2012. With only six races to go in this Chase, you know the 12 guys that will be competing for those victories.

Nick Margiasso, NASCAR.COM

The opinions expressed are solely those of the writer.

Too many good cars. Too many talented drivers. That's why the odds are long against all 10 Chase races being won by the Chase 12 drivers in any given season.

Certainly logic dictates that the top 12 drivers in the standings ought to win the majority of the races. And in 2008, the Chasers kept Victory Lane a private club to themselves. But that's the only time in eight previous Chases where that's happened.

More often than not, the spotlight shines on somebody not in the Chase at least once in the final 10 races of the year. Greg Biffle made up for missing the Chase by winning at Kansas in 2007, Jamie McMurray spoiled the party with wins at Talladega in 2009 and Charlotte in 2010, and Kasey Kahne triumphed at Phoenix last season.

So common sense (and statistical probability) should tell you that somebody -- Kyle Busch? Mark Martin? Ryan Newman? -- will score a win sometime between now and Homestead. The best bet? Kansas, where non-Chasers have been party-crashers three times -- Joe Nemechek in 2004, Tony Stewart in 2006 and Biffle in 2007. Plus the new asphalt surface may force crew chiefs to throw their previous notes out the window.

And don't forget Newman won at Martinsville earlier this season. Or Charlotte, where Busch led 55 laps and finished third. Or Phoenix, where Busch led 52 laps and finished sixth. The Chase may be a party of 12, but it's not an exclusive club.

Mark Aumann, NASCAR.COM

The opinions expressed are solely those of the writer.
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