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Chase not perfect, but sports leagues take note

How do you generate interest in NASCAR when baseball pennant fever is running rampant and the NFL is in the meat of its schedule? If you're Brian France, you devise a playoff system called the Chase for the Sprint Cup, writes Ed Hinton.

Updated: September 9, 2008, 10:10 AM ET
By Ed Hinton | ESPN.com

Because the Chase seems status quo in this, its fifth year, a look at how playoffs have changed NASCAR must begin with pre-Chase NASCAR.

Lest we forget, about this time of year the doldrums used to set in and the grousing would begin. For example, would Matt Kenseth really win the 2003 Winston Cup with only one race victory?

He would. But was that fair, when Kenseth merely drove consistently while Ryan Newman won eight races but finished sixth in points?

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