Three-Race Showdown Set For Manufacturer Championship

The strong 2008 seasons by Jimmie Johnson, Carl Edwards and Kyle Busch (from Chevrolet, Ford and Toyota, respectively) has made this year’s Manufacturers’ Championship one of the most heated – and coveted – in history.

With three races remaining in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season, only five points separate the top three in the Manufacturers’ Championship standings.

Chevrolet took the lead for the first time in 22 races after Jimmie Johnson’s second-place finish at Atlanta. Chevrolet, with 198 points, now leads Toyota by one point and Ford by five. Dodge, with 138 points, is 60 points out.

“Several teams have made it a point to say that they’ll do everything they can to ‘get the next spot’ if it means moving Chevy further ahead in the manufacturers’ points race,” said Pat Suhy, GM Racing NASCAR Group Manager. “I know they’d go for it anyway, but it feels good to know that they’re thinking of us at the same time as they are themselves.”

Kyle Busch, in winning eight races during the 26-race regular season, put Toyota in prime position to win the Manufacturers’ Championship in only its second season.

“The competition between four manufacturers is one of the reasons we decided to become involved in NASCAR, and there’s undoubtedly a huge sense of pride in earning the Manufacturers’ Championship, especially with the intense level of competition in the series," said Lee White, president and general manager of TRD, U.S.A.

Ford entered the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup trailing Toyota by 18 points. But three wins in seven Chase races has cut the deficit by 13.

“It’s obviously been one of the most competitive seasons, in terms of manufacturers that NASCAR has seen in many years,” said Doug Hervey, North American Operations Manager, Ford Racing Technology. 
“Fortunately for us, we’ve got three race tracks coming up where our teams really excel, especially Homestead Miami Speedway, so we’re optimistic about our chances of coming back and winning the manufacturers’ championship.”

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Manufacturer Points System Breakdown

A maximum of six points can be gained in a given race. The top-finishing manufacturer gets nine (9) points, the second-best finishing manufacturer gets six (6), third-best gets four (4) and fourth-best gets three (3).

A single manufacturer cannot get points for two different positions. For instance, if Jimmie Johnson’s Chevrolet finishes first and Jeff Burton’s Chevrolet finishes third, Chevrolet does not earn 13 points. It would only earn the nine points for their first-place finish. A manufacturer earns the points in relation to how the other manufacturers finish.

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Toyota and Ford are looking to end a five-year run on championships by Chevrolet. The last time a non-Chevrolet outfit won the title was 2002 (Ford). Over NASCAR’s history, Chevrolet has captured 31 of the 58 championships (53%):

Manufacturer  Titles
Chevrolet    31
Ford           15
Hudson        3
Oldsmobile   3
Dodge          2
Buick           2
Plymouth     1
Pontiac        1

Even if Chevrolet does hold on to win its sixth consecutive Manufacturers’ Championship, it would still fall short of its own record of nine consecutive titles (1983-1991). Below is a year-by-year breakdown of the Manufacturers’ Champions:

1949 None
1950 Oldsmobile
1951 Oldsmobile
1952 Hudson
1953 Hudson
1954 Hudson
1955 Oldsmobile
1956 Ford
1957 Ford
1958 Chevrolet
1959 Chevrolet
1960 Chevrolet
1961 Chevrolet
1962 Pontiac
1963 Ford
1964 Ford
1965 Ford
1966 Ford
1967 Ford
1968 Ford
1969 Ford
1970 Dodge
1971 Plymouth
1972 Chevrolet
1973 Chevrolet
1974 Chevrolet
1975 Dodge
1976 Chevrolet
1977 Chevrolet
1978 Chevrolet
1979 Chevrolet
1980 Chevrolet
1981 Buick
1982 Buick
1983 Chevrolet
1984 Chevrolet
1985 Chevrolet
1986 Chevrolet
1987 Chevrolet
1988 Chevrolet
1989 Chevrolet
1990 Chevrolet
1991 Chevrolet
1992 Ford
1993 Chevrolet
1994 Ford
1995 Chevrolet
1996 Chevrolet
1997 Ford
1998 Chevrolet
1999 Ford
2000 Ford
2001 Chevrolet
2002 Ford
2003 Chevrolet
2004 Chevrolet
2005 Chevrolet
2006 Chevrolet
2007 Chevrolet
2008 TBD