Without Chase format, Jeff Gordon would have won championship, not Kevin Harvick

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Heading into last Sunday’s season-ending race, our MST colleague Tony DiZinno did an excellent job breaking down what the Sprint Cup points standings would look like pre-Homestead if the standings would be determined solely by points earned in the season.

In other words, if NASCAR had not added an elimination format, and if there had been no expansion of the Chase field from 12 to 16 drivers.

After Kevin Harvick won the championship under the new rules, several MST readers asked for an update as far as what the final standings would have looked like after Homestead based solely on points earned in all 36 races (26 regular season, 10 in the Chase).

Would winning Sunday’s race have put Harvick at the top of the “old” pre-Chase point standings?

No, but there was some movement (typically one position up or down in most instances) in what would have been the final standings that should be noted if the old format woulda, coulda – and for some of you old school fans – shoulda been in place.

Thanks to our good friends at Jayski.com, here’s how the 2014 driver standings would have ultimately played out without the revised Chase format – as well as which drivers moved up or down from the previous week heading into Homestead.

Unofficial Top 25 in 2014 Sprint Cup Driver Points Standings (not the Chase):
[After Homestead, race 36 of 36]

1) #24-Jeff Gordon, 1253
2) #22-Joey Logano, 1216, -37
3) #2-Brad Keselowski, 1179, -74 (Gained one position from previous week)
4) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., 1175, -78 (Lost one position)
5) #4-Kevin Harvick(champion), 1171, -82
6) #31-Ryan Newman, 1136, -117 (Gained one position)
7) #20-Matt Kenseth, 1131, -122 (Lost one position)
8) #42-Kyle Larson, 1080, -173 (Gained one position)
9) #48-Jimmie Johnson, 1067, -186 (Gained one position)
10) #99-Carl Edwards, 1059, -194 (Lost two positions)
11) #1-Jamie McMurray, 1014, -239 (Gained one position)
12) #16-Greg Biffle, 1000, -253 (Lost one position)
13) #11-Denny Hamlin, 987, -266 (Missed one race) (Gained one position)
14) #15-Clint Bowyer, 979, -274 (Gained one position)
15) #18-Kyle Busch, 969, -284 (Lost two positions)
16) #5-Kasey Kahne, 966, -287 (Gained one position)
17) #3-Austin Dillon, 958, -295 (Lost one position)
18) #27-Paul Menard, 944, -309
19) #55-Brian Vickers, 921, -332
20) #41-Kurt Busch, 911, -342
21) #9-Marcos Ambrose, 872, -381 (Gained one position)
22) #47-AJ Allmendinger, 868, -385 (Lost one position)
23) #78-Martin Truex Jr., 857, -396
24) #43-Aric Almirola, 820, -433 (Gained one position)
25) #14-Tony Stewart, 799, -454 (missed three races) (Lost one position)

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Three-time W Series champ Jamie Chadwick joining Andretti in Indy NXT Series for 2023

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Jamie Chadwick, the three-time W Series champion, will drive for Andretti Autosport in the Indy NXT Series next season.

Chadwick will make her debut in an American racing series in March, driving the No. 28 for Andretti Autosport with sponsorship from DHL. The 24-year-old will become the first female driver in 13 years to compete full time in the Indy NXT championship.

Chadwick joined the female free-to-enter W Series in its inaugural 2019 season, winning two races and the first of three consecutive championships. She has been a reserve driver for the Williams Formula One team and will continue in that role in 2023. She also has driven in the Extreme E Series.

Despite her success, Chadwick hasn’t landed a bigger ride in F3 or F2, and her break didn’t come until Michael Andretti contacted her and offered a test in an Indy NXT car.

The final three races of this year’s W Series schedule were canceled when funding fell through, but Chadwick still believes the all-female series was the right path for her.

“W Series has always been and will continue to be an opportunity to be racing for every female driver, so for my side, I looked at it while perhaps I would have liked to step up maybe earlier, at the same time being able to have that chance to race, get that experience, have that development, seat time… I was constantly learning,” Chadwick told The Associated Press.

“In that sense, I wasn’t frustrated at all. But on the flip side of it, now I’ve had that experience testing in the United States in Indy NXT and this is something I’m really excited about.”

Chadwick also is expected to have an enhanced role as a development driver next season with Williams, which chose American driver Logan Sargeant to fill its open seat on next year’s F1 grid.

“Andretti Autosport is proud to be supporting Jamie alongside DHL,” said Michael Andretti. “Jamie’s successful career speaks for itself, but Indy NXT gives Jamie the opportunity to continue her development in a new type of racing.

“We’ve turned out five Indy NXT champions over the years and look forward to continuing our role in developing new talent.”

Indy NXT is the new name of the rebranded Indy Lights Series, the final step on the ladder system before IndyCar.

Andretti will field two drivers next season in IndyCar that were developed in Indy NXT: Kyle Kirkwood, the 2021 champion, will return to Andretti after one season in IndyCar driving for A.J. Foyt Racing, and Devlin DeFrancesco is back for a second season.

Chadwick will be teammates in Indy NXT with Hunter McElrea and Louis Foster. She becomes Andretti’s second full-time female driver alongside Catie Munnings, who competes for Andretti United in the Extreme E Series.