Sadly we are down to the final stage of the game. Still we have NINE races to go - so that is still 25% of the season left. Lots of fun to be had yet. :-) As I had hoped moving the drivers just a bit spread out the picks somewhat and helped spread out the scores and avoided having so many ties. Many folks hung in there with the old regular A drivers; but a few of those guys had issues and thus hurt those players. B drivers had a nice assortment of picks. C drivers I expected folks to take Hemric; but the second pick in that group was certainly spread out. This also had the effect of driving the scores down since people like Jones and Buescher and DiBenedetto were always the most picked and they seemed to also score the most in their group.As far as the race itself. It was pretty competitive. I enjoyed it; but once again my guys can't seem to finish well enough to make me any winnings. It's just NOT been my year. But we ALL have seasons like that and making a 'rebound" next year is what makes it fun. To me folks that just play one year and quit miss out. The first year they learn all the nuances and develop a strategy; then the FOLLOWING year with a season of experience under their belt is when they get to employ that and make a nice showing. Of course occasionally you have a few folks come along that kick butt the first year.We saw someone who made the Chase this week. That means they automatically advance to Round #2. Of course they need to score all they can the whole segment because if they DON'T advance to the final round they need all the points they can get to fall back on to try and finish 5th to 10th.MANY times we see someone who didn't make the Chase win. This week we had two folks not in the chase tie for second just ONE point back. Enough jibber-jabber. Lets look at this weeks results.A - After many weeks of avoiding Bowyer as a pick; we all saw him run well time after time. This week he won the pole for the first time since 2007. 15 folks decided it was time to take Bowyer. 15 folks were wrong. He led lap one and fell backwards and ended up way back in 25th and only scored 22. Harvick was the most picked (68). He wasn't fast until the track cooled off then he moved to the front. He led 47 laps but in the end wasn't enough for Truex who won. Harvick scored 80 points; most of anyone. Keselowski got 57 picks; and he struggled even more than Harvick early. He almost got lapped before the end of stage one. But as the track cooled and Brad moved forward. He finished third; but due to running so far back early he missed out on stage points and only scored 53 points. It was fifth best. Kyle Busch got 52 picks; but hit the wall early and lost two laps. He finally took a risk and managed to get back on the lead lap about the start of the final stage. When he got back on the lead lap he moved into the top ten quickly and then he hit the wall again and later run into the back of a lapped car who messed up his nose. He just rode it out to the checkers and ended up back a lap down in 19th and only scored 23. He hurt the folks that picked him. Logano had a good car all night but it fell off as the track cooled down. 46 folks picked Joey and he ended up ninth. He scored 73 points thanks to good stage points. It dropped down to 21 picks for Elliott; and he ran well. He finished fourth and was the fourth best scoring A driver. He earned some nice bonus points also and ended up with 61 points. 14 folks took Hamlin and he never found the handle all night. He ran mid-pack and only scored 33 points. Kurt Busch looked good and the eleven folks that took him looked good for a while. After he banged fenders with someone he cut a tire and crashed out. He only scored nine. Now HERE was the secret this week. TEN folks took Truex; he ran well and ran away with the win. He scored 79 points. Blaney got five picks and scored 47 points when he finished fifth. Jones was moved from the B group to the A group and only got two picks. He looked like an "A" driver early before he had mechanical issues and finished 36th. I can see he will be a good pick in this group as time progresses. B - Larson was the most picked B driver this week. I originally had him but in pre-race when he said his car wasn't good; I dropped him. I went with Suarez instead. Cost me 18 points. Bad deal. Ya know this is three weeks in a row I heard something pre-race; swapped drivers and cost myself a bunch of points. Larson scored 51 points finishing eighth. He tied with Byron with 51 points. Only 26 folks took Byron. Bowman was the third best scoring B driver with 41 points. 20 folks took Bowman. Almirola had 37 folks take him. Much like Bowyer he qualified well and went backwards. He did manage to finish well and only scored one point less than Bowman. Like his SHR team mates Suarez qualified well but if not for 8 points in stage one it would have been bad. As it is he still only scored 33. Johnson looked good in practice and ran well in the race. He finished 11th and scored 34 points as well as getting 34 picks. Byron saw 26 folks pick him and he ran well... despite cutting a tire and spinning out. He rallied to finish seventh and scored 51 points. Newman got 20 picks and posted a top ten finish; Stenhouse got five picks but finished outside the top 25. Menard got four picks and looks to be trying to finish his career on a high note. He ran well all day and posted a 14th place finish. Three folks picked DiBenedetto; while A Dillon and Buescher got one each. Dillon finished 12th and scored 35 while Buescher and DiBenedetto wasn't far behind. C - With most of the C picks going to DiBenedetto and Buescher week after week; that prompted a move. Since they got moved to the B group; that left Hemric getting the most picks (61). That spread out the second pick in this group quite a bit. T Dillon got 25 picks. These two guys scored the most points. 28 for Dillon and 26 for Hemric. McDowell got 20 picks and scored 18 - Wallace also scored 18 and got 12 picks; Preece had 16 picks and scored 14. Ragan scored 19 and had nine picks. It looks like even though Hemric had by far the most picks; he just barely out scored most of the other C drivers. So this group will be interesting and COULD determine who wins week to week.D - Had five D drivers picked this week. Since Tifft was moved to the C group; players loaded up on LaJoie this week. I think we will see who gets picked swap from week to week. Lajoie got 57 picks and as it turns out he scored 13 points (best of the D drivers). But he was followed close by Cassill with 12; Chastain 10; and Yeley nine. SO about any of these guys can score the most any given week.Weekly Winner - Anita M Winning score - 460 MAX score - 503 Low To Cash - 425
CONGRATS to this weeks winner Anita M. RARE to see someone in the Chase grab a win. Since she qualified for the Chase she automatically advances to round two of the Chase. She also earned an additional 15 bonus points (that will be added at the start of round two. Tim C and Zach J also finished in the top five and will get additional bonus points next round. Anita edged out Robert L and Shakey L by one tiny point. David Anderson and Mark H tied for last cash with 425. 41st place was only 25 points out of the money and 53rd was just 49 out of the money.Segment leader - Anita - 460 Low To Cash - David / Mark - 425Segment - As usual; week one in the segment is a mirror image of the first weekly results; so no big info here.
Overall leader - Zeke J - 11396 Low To Cash - Anita - 10781Overall - Zeke is still leading but had a bad week and Doug cut into his lead by 20 points. Skip H2 moved from 100 point out of second to be 80 points behind. It's another 100 points back to Arlene in fourth; but a tight battle from there. Arlene is 429 behind Zeke. Next come Michael R at 433 back. Just a scant four points behind Arlene. But right behind is Joe R and Terry J with 442 (just another nine points behind Arlene). Bobby W is 476 back followed by Mark F -510. It's pretty evenly spread out as we see Geoff - 536 then Blaine S2 at -565; Ron C2 at -597 and Anita and David F2 are tied for last cash at -615. SO it is less than 180 points from last cash to fourth. 35th place is 200 points out of last cash - So we still have 1/2 the players that can easily get to the money. All the way down to 46th place is within 300 points of last cash. As mentioned; points will be more spread out this segment; making it easy to make up ground.Super 7 leader - Doug M - 2135 Low To Cash - Zeke J - 2133Super 7 --- DARLINGTON WAS RACE #5 - ROVAL IS NEXT RACE - We added a new player at the start of this segment and it threw off my scores. This is the updated corrected version of where we all stand with five races down and two to go. Doug M holds only a slim two point lead over Zeke. Zeke made up 30 points this race to narrow the gap. Scott P is just 32 points back of Zeke and Jordan M2 is in fourth. Steve G rounds out the top five. Two races to go here - LOTS of points to be gained..THE CHASE QUALIFIER - HERE'S what we been working towards - So Anita won this week. We take 18 to move forward to Round Two. Remember it is winners and rest is points. Just like during the season if we have a tie for the win ALL winners advance. (remember this info is for ONLY those that advanced to the Chase). IF we have a TIE for 18th both players advance. Since we have bonus points they will play an important role in who advances. For example; I did a pitiful job picking for Chris W this week. He only scored 379; but since he has 45 bonus points; he is just ONE point out right now. Alex B is in 18th right now with 12425. Chris W and Steve B has 12424. All the way down to Rick with 12385 is within 40 points of the cut.As mentioned points will be more spread out and should be easier to make up.The points showing now do include the bonus points you earned all season to carry forward.ABOVE you will see a NEW TAB we are using that says "Chase". It shows the order of the points standings. Anita is at the top and is highlighted in yellow since she won this week. Like the other sheets it shows scores in order and how far behind (or ahead) you are. TWO races to go until we cut to the top 18. Winners advance first. SO if we have five winners the first three races (due to ties) then just 13 spots will go forward according to points. OFTEN someone NOT in the Chase will win and no one gets credit for automatically advancing that week.Until Next Race - REMEMBER it is SATURDAY at Richmond this week.Below is a copy of the weekly results that will remain here all season.
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