Today is the last race of the Nextel Cup season. Nextel Cup is the highest you can go in NASCAR, the big leagues.
For the uninitiated, drivers gather points all season, and the driver with the most points at the end of the season wins The Cup. This year they get $5M, and far more importantly, the prestige of winning. Points usually come in small amounts, a point here, 3 there, 5 for leading a lap, etc. They get 175 points for winning a race, but the second place guy gets 170, so there’s not a HUGE difference between first and second, points-wise.
This year there are pretty much only 5 guys that are struggling for The Cup in this last race. There are only 80 points separating the 1st and 5th drivers at the start of this race. That may sound like a lot, but it’s really nothing.
Another interesting bit about NASCAR is the length of the season. They run Feb-Nov. In today’s race they’re running commercials for the “next” race, which is the first race of next season. They always start the season with the Daytona 500, which oddly enough is the Super Bowl of NASCAR, the most important race of the season.
So we’ll see who wins.