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Changes to NASCAR’s points system should reward winners

By admin | January 17, 2011

By Richard Allen


On Monday afternoon rumors began to fly as information leaked out in regard to a possible new points system for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. According to the AP’s Jenna Fryer, the sanctioning body is considering what would amount to a scraping of the old system used for determining a champion.

According to Fryer’s report, NASCAR is considering awarding each race winner 43 points with each position being given one less point in descending order until the 43rd place driver receives one point. If that is the case, it is a step in the wrong direction.

But before jumping to conclusions keep in mind that this is all speculative and based on the story’s sources who may not have been told every detail or have been used to put something out for the purpose of gauging the opinions of fans, teams, sponsors and the media.

That said, I have long been a proponent of changing NASCAR’s current points system. As it is right now, the system does not reward winners enough and does not punish mediocrity enough. Consistency is said to be the goal, and apparently, consistently finish in the middle of the pack is to be regarded as a good thing.

A close friend and co-worker of mine who is a casual follower of racing has often said the NASCAR points system reminds him of socialism in that finishing 2nd or 5th or even 10th is rewarded too closely to the race winner.

If this rumored system is in fact adopted, that so called socialistic system will be made worse rather than better. Under the current system, the incremental drop of from 1st to 2nd at 185 points to the winner and 170 points for the runner-up(before lap leader bonuses) is greater than 43 for 1st and 42 for 2nd.

In other words, “Good points days,” will become even more prevalent if this system is put in place, unless bonuses are offered for leading and winning. No such bonuses have yet been reported. Hopefully, there is more than has so far been leaked.

Throughout the off-season there have been a number of rumors regarding possible changes to the Chase for the Championship playoff format. One piece of speculation that accompanied the report of the 43 to 1 points system on the various social media networks was that winning might become a requirement for making the Chase, among other rumors. However, Fryer’s story indicated that NASCAR was shying away from any major Chase changes.

As was said earlier, I am all for changing the current NASCAR points system if that proposed system will entice drivers and teams to race hard for wins rather than settle for a, “Good points day”. Otherwise, change for the sake of change is worthless and gives off the appearance of desperation.

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4 Responses to “Changes to NASCAR’s points system should reward winners”

  1. madhat Says:
    January 18th, 2011 at 11:06 am

    I agree that the focus should be on wins. The big issue with Nascar is that drivers know that consistence is far more valuable then winning races. Jamie Mac wins 3 races and doesn’t make the chase , and then you have several drivers make it that didn’t win a race, how does that make sence? What they should do is go to a point system like F1 that puts a big value on winning as appose to having a good points day. If you look at the F1 race at Turkey, you had teammates in Red Bull take each other out and then Lewis and Jenson almost did the same thing fighting for the win. At the end of the year, there were four guys in it that could take the title and Vettal who was third won by winning the last race. If Nascar wants that “Super Bowl feeling” then they should look at F1 for a point system that makes the race exciting even for eight and ninth place. My suggestion would be points only for the top 15 and it would look like this: 1st. 40 points, 2nd 25, 3rd 20, 4th 15, 5th 12, 6th 10, 7th 9, 8th 8, 9th 7, 10th 6, 11th 5, 12th 4, 13th 3, 14th 2, 15th 1 point. Why should a guy that comes in 32 get any points? Just my two cents.

  2. Charles Says:
    January 18th, 2011 at 11:21 am

    Waiting to see the final format!

    I just hope they get a system thats adds excitment to Raceday!!!

    The system now just adds or creates a incentive to stroke or take a top 5 thus to the drivers all they look to do is finish instead of leading!

    If they would just start giving more points to lead laps and bigger bonus to winners, demote the Chase, then I think they would be in the right direction!!!!!

    We should soon know, but if the press release is any indication, its seems they still dont get it! I agree with you Rich is will probably make it worse!!!!!

  3. Mr. Tony Geinzer Says:
    January 18th, 2011 at 12:02 pm

    Rich, my friend, I have been barking like a dog about awarding more to the Winners and I am shocked that as a Stock Car Man, as I follow other racing too, but I usually prefer Stock Cars other than May and I feel that Brian the Family Dog has played his media hand like Old LeBron Jersey.

  4. Spencer Says:
    January 18th, 2011 at 2:30 pm

    I like to think consistency is the best thing, because each weekend it will be one that wins and 42 that loses ultimately so even though you may have 10 more top 5’s than one of the 2 making it because they bring either the trophy or the steering wheel home, the consistant one will not be in and to me that’s a definate middle finger to that guy