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 youâ€™ve followed NASCAR for very long youâ€™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 systemâ€™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 childâ€™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 â€œnewâ€ math.
After Saturdayâ€™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 didnâ€™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 donâ€™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.
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