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NASCAR getting lost in the math of its “easier” points system

By admin | September 1, 2011

By Richard Allen

During this past off season NASCAR Chairman Brian France held a press conference in which he laid out a couple of significant changes in the way the Sprint Cup champion would be determined. The new system, according to the third generation boss of the sport, was going to be much easier to understand than the old way of doing things.

If you’ve followed NASCAR for very long you’ve heard the story of the old points system being created when it was written on the back of a napkin in a restaurant. Despite the system’s modest beginnings it apparently created numbers that were just to big for fans, teams and media to grasp so the sanctioning body decided a little simplification was in order. So, a new system was put in place. As France explained, this new way would be much easier due to the fact that the numbers would be much smaller, and thus, easier for those of us who do not possess the mathematical skills of scholars the likes of Jethro Bodine(not of the New York Bodines).

And more, because Jamie McMurray won some really big races last year but exhibited the consistency of a six year old child’s Christmas wish list the powers that be in Daytona Beach decided it was necessary to include a couple of wildcard entrants into the ten race playoff known as the Chase for the Championship.

But this system would be easier, right? After all, the numbers are lower and the two drivers with the most wins outside the top-10 will make the playoff. Who could mess that up?

Well, apparently NASCAR is having trouble with its own form of “new” math.

After Saturday’s race in Bristol, it was announced that the top-4 in the Sprint Cup standings(Kyle Busch, Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth and Carl Edwards) had clinched a place in the 2011 Chase. Everyone else would be vying to lock down their spots over the course of the next two weeks(they just didn’t say at what point in the week that would occur).

So, after some extra ciphering(A second Beverly Hillbillies reference in one column) by NASCAR officials it was decided on Wednesday that Kevin Harvick had also qualified for the Chase with his finish in Bristol. It only took three days to do the simpler math but all is now correct.

Ooops, wait a minute. After further, further review it was decided on Wednesday that Jeff Gordon is also locked into the playoff.

Kind of makes one hope they don’t get halfway into the Chase and realize they left someone out who was supposed to be in, huh? Good thing this new system is so much easier to understand than the old way.

Topics: Articles |

3 Responses to “NASCAR getting lost in the math of its “easier” points system”

  1. Steve Says:
    September 2nd, 2011 at 11:26 am

    Harvick gets in because he is guaranteed a wildcard due to the number of wins he has. He will surely clinch in points within the next 2 weeks so its rather moot.

    Its hard to defend the guy, but I think France was talking about the Chase when he was talking about a simpler points system. If a driver is 5 points ahead, in essense, the trailing driver needs to pass 6 cars to move ahead of him in points, which is simpler, but they complicated how getting into the Chase affects points with this wildcard thing.

    Personally, I just wait until the standings are computed after Richmond. Most people know the top 8 are locks anyway. Doesn’t take a math major to figure that out by looking at the standings.

  2. Sue Rarick Says:
    September 2nd, 2011 at 12:53 pm

    If anyone has a problem with this new system I just have two things to say….
    1. 1+1=2, 2+2=4
    2. See Spot run. Run Spot run.

  3. jerseygirl24 Says:
    September 2nd, 2011 at 4:14 pm

    LOL, yeah, BZF may not have been able to understand the old points system but oddly enough most of us fans didn’t have any problem. But we know that Brainless thinks we’re all stupid anyway.

    Sue, I like your system!!