We've still got World Cup fever here at From The Marbles, so with seven races left before the Chase for the Sprint Cup commences at New Hampshire, there isn't a better time than now to launch our version of the NASCAR World Cup.
For those of you that are familiar with the World Cup, we're going to essentially take every rule from the World Cup that's applicable to NASCAR. For those of you not familiar, we'll explain.
The World Cup traditionally consists of 32 teams in eight groups (A-H) of four. To find which teams are in each groups, eight teams are in each pot, and one team from each pot is in each group.
To get our 32 drivers, we're simply going to take the top 32 in the Drivers' Points standings after Chicagoland. Congratulations, Robby Gordon, you're in. Sorry Front Row Motorsports, all three of your drivers are out. The top eight are in Pot A, nine through 16 in Pot B, 17-24 in Pot C and 25-32 in Pot D.
Over the weekend, we'll have our World Cup draw — much to our disdain, we couldn't get Charlize Theron to help us — and starting Monday, we'll reveal two groups a day.
The rules in each group are pretty straightforward as well. Each driver will face the other three drivers head to head in his group once in the first three weeks, which will be the group stage. (Those races are Indianapolis, Pocono and Watkins Glen.) If Kevin Harvick is drawn with Tony Stewart, Kasey Kahne and Robby Gordon (that would be our version of the group of death. Poor Robby), Harvick would be matched up against Kahne at Indianapolis, Stewart at Pocono and Gordon at Watkins Glen.
The top two drivers from each group will advance — there's no point system here because ties are impossible — and our first tiebreaker in case drivers are tied in the standings will be finish differential. If Harvick finishes fifth at Indianapolis and Kahne finishes ninth, Harvick will get the win and be +4 in finish differential because he finished four spots ahead of Kahne. Consequently, Kahne will have a loss and be -4.
Our second tiebreaker will be total finishes, so if Harvick finishes fifth, seventh and ninth in his three group races, his total will be 21. If Kahne finishes ninth, ninth and seventh, his total will be 25. Since Harvick has the lowest score, he'd have the tiebreaker. If for some reason, drivers are tied after the second tiebreaker, we'll go with their head-to-head matchup as the ultimate tiebreaker.
Once we're through with the group stage, we will seed it just like the real World Cup. The winner of Group A will play the second-place team in Group B while the winner of Group B will play the second-place team in group A on the other side of the bracket. For the full World Cup bracket, click here.
Since we'll take 16 drivers to the knockout stage, the champion will be decided over the final four races to the Chase. (Michigan, Bristol, Atlanta and Richmond). There won't be any need for tiebreakers here, as the driver who finishes higher in each head-to-head matchup moves on to the next round.
We haven't decided what the champion of the NASCAR World Cup will receive, but we're thinking about offering him a ride for 2011 in the fully financed From The Marbles car because that Kahne guy can't make up his mind about where he wants to drive next year and we can't keep holding this seat open forever.
Check back Monday to see who'll be in groups A and B!