NASCAR: How did 12th place Chase Elliott score the most points?

Chase Elliott, Hendrick Motorsports, Talladega, NASCAR (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
Chase Elliott, Hendrick Motorsports, Talladega, NASCAR (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images) /

Chase Elliott scored more points than every other driver in Sunday afternoon’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway.

In just his second NASCAR Cup Series race since breaking his left tibia in a Colorado snowboarding accident, Hendrick Motorsports’ Chase Elliott scored more points than any other driver in the field on Sunday afternoon at Talladega Superspeedway.

Elliott, whose six missed starts put him in a position where he will likely need to win to qualify for the playoffs, was still in need of a good points day, as there is still an outside chance that he can qualify for the playoffs on points.

And even with a win, he will need to be in a good enough position in the standings to get into the playoffs if there are more than 16 regular season winners.

The driver of the No. 9 Chevrolet managed to score the most points in the 196-lap GEICO 500 at the four-turn, 2.66-mile (4.281-kilometer) high-banked Lincoln, Alabama oval, despite the fact that he finished the race in 12th place.

In modern-day NASCAR Cup Series competition, this isn’t that outlandish to think about.

The top 10 drivers in each of the first two stages (three at Charlotte Motor Speedway, since the Coca-Cola 600 is a 600-mile race) score points, from 10 down to one.

Race winners are awarded 40 points, meaning that because of the way stage racing is set up, a driver who finishes in 16th place (21 points) can technically score more total points (41) than the race winner, and a driver who finishes in 17th (20) can technically finish a race tied for the most points scored.

It is also technically possible for a race winner to finish a race 10th in total points scored over the course of an entire event.

Elliott won the first stage and finished in second place in the second, netting him 19 points. His 12th place finish scored him an additional 25, giving him 44 for the entire race. The only other driver to score 40 was race winner Kyle Busch, who did not score any stage points.

With 16 races remaining on the regular season schedule, Elliott sits in 31st place in the point standings, 120 points below the cut line.

A 120-point gap certainly isn’t insurmountable with four months to go in the regular season, but his most likely route to an eighth consecutive postseason appearance definitely includes winning, perhaps even more than once.

Next. All-time NASCAR Cup Series wins list. dark

Elliott is set to get another chance to do that this coming Sunday, April 30 at the track where he earned his first win last year, Dover Motor Speedway. The Wurth 400 is set to be broadcast live on Fox Sports 1 beginning at 2:00 p.m. ET. Begin a free trial of FuboTV today and don’t miss any of the action!