By admin | May 14, 2012
By Richard Allen
Sunday night I posted a piece in which I stated my opinion that the current points system model is one of the major contributing factors for the relative lack of excitement seen in NASCAR Sprint Cup races this season. It is my belief that the current system, instituted during the 2010-2011 off season, discourages risk taking because the threat of losing multiple points outweighs the possibility of gaining a single point by passing the driver directly ahead. As a result, drivers are encouraged to ride rather than race much of the time.
However, that will not be the case this Saturday night at the Charlotte Motor Speedway when drivers take to the track for the Sprint All Star Race. The winner receives $1 million but no points toward the Chase for the Championship.
Typically, the action in this race is wild. Winning is all that matters.
It seems to me that such ought to be the case more than once or twice a year. There are some races that are bigger than the points they offer. Nothing can be more appalling to some fans than to hear a driver who has just missed out on collecting a trophy in one of the sportâ€™s premier events to proclaim that he had â€œa good points dayâ€.
The Daytona 500, the Southern 500 in Darlington, the Coca-Cola 600 in Charlotte and the Brickyard 400 in Indianapolis would be best served to drop points and be made into races in which winning is all that matters, because in those races, winning ought to be all that matters. Let the other 32 events determine a champion while these four contests simply stand along on their own merits.
Itâ€™s not as if there is no precedent for such a move. In professional golf, the four â€˜majorsâ€™ are not actually part of any tour. They stand alone on their own merits. Golfers want to win The Master, the U.S. Open, the British Open and the PGA Championship for the sake of winning those tournaments. No points toward a championship are required. Those events are championships.
A race as prestigious as the Southern 500 should never play out as it did this past Saturday night.Â Drivers appeared far too cautious considering they were looking to place their names beside the likes of previous Darlington winners such as Petty, Pearson, Allison, Yarborough, Waltrip, Earnhardt and Gordon.
The four biggest NASCAR races could have that same feel. No points. Just glory.
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