NASCAR Announce Top 35 Owners Points for 2009
The most important fact about the new Top 35 is that some of the teams that didn't make the Top 35 last season got to secure a racing spot in the first 5 races of 2009 due to the new point changes. The modifications are as followed, presented by NASCAR's official site the past weekend:
Yates Racing and Paul Menard, whose new team is 23rd; Front Row Motorsports' John Andretti, who went from 45th in 2008 to 27th; Hall of Fame Racing's Bobby Labonte, from 39th to 28th; Penske Racing's Sam Hornish Jr., from 38th to 31st; Richard Childress Racing's Clint Bowyer, from 50th to 32nd; and JTG Daugherty Racing's Marcos Ambrose, from 36th to 35th.
The changes occurred due to the fact that 5 of the team who had made the Top 35 last season didn't get to make it through the winter. In addition, mainly due to the new mergers, some of the drivers will get to have better grid positions in case the qualifying sessions would be rained off.
Such is the case of former Chip Ganassi Racing's Juan Montoya – now driving for the newly-formed Earnhardt Ganassi Racing – who will start the new season as the 14th entry, despite finishing last season in 25th place. Therefore, the No 8 team will now belong to Chip Ganassi, while Teresa Earnhardt will own the No 42 team.
EGR also proceeded in transferring the points of 27th finisher Paul Menard – formerly driving Dale Earnhardt Inc.'s No 15 car – to Front Row's No. 34, a team that only got to race 5 times last year. In addition, the points of the No 01 DEI car – driven last year by Regan Smith to 32nd in the owners standings – were transferred to RCR's No 33 team, who only made 2 starts in 2008.
Here are the Top 35 cars to tackle the first 5 races of the new season, as announced by NASCAR's official site:
48, 99, 16, 29, 07, 31, 24, 11, 20, 18, 17, 88, 6, 42 (from No 8), 9, 1, 26, 12, 2, 83, 5, 32, 98 (points from 28), 19, 8 (from No 42), 00 (formerly known as No 44), 34 (points from No 15), 96 (points from No 38), 55, 39 (points from No 66), 77 (points from No 22), 33 (points from No 01), 7, 82 (formerly known as No 84) and 47 (formerly knows as No 347/00).