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Like the All Star Race, most prestigious events should be about winning rather than points

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 sport’s premier events to proclaim that he had “a good points day”.

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.

It’s not as if there is no precedent for such a move. In professional golf, the four ‘majors’ 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.  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.

Topics: Articles |

11 Responses to “Like the All Star Race, most prestigious events should be about winning rather than points”

  1. Tyler West Says:
    May 14th, 2012 at 10:24 am

    Since they have already turned the season long championship into a joke maybe the winners of these races should be automatic qualifiers for the stupid Chase. I don’t understand why they had to go a mess with something that was not broke. They don’t seem to realize that bland is bad for business, unless your Roger Penske. Winning should priority #1, win at ALL COSTS. Plus they have let these cars get so exspensive to run that it is nearly impossible to find sponsors who can afford to put their name on these things. They are either too arrogant or just plain stupid to understand how to fix the problems in the sport. And can we clear this up, people want to see ACTION, be it racing hard and bring out cautions or just rubbing. I hate the fact that the media has automatically turned it into the fans wanting just crashes. That’s rediculous. We want action not parade laps. Race to win not get a good points day, that is PATHETIC!!!

  2. Judy Says:
    May 14th, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    Agree wholeheartedly with both the article AND Tyler’s comment! The stupid chase is a joke on many levels & has just about turned the first 26 races into a waste of time. Any idea to put fun & excitement back into NASCAR is worth trying!

    I’m waiting to see what happens with the All Star race. If the boring-so-far season is a product of the new points format, it should be a joy to watch. If, however, the drivers who point to aero, tires, downforce & other issues are right, the All Star race will be much of the same as the first 11 races. Will be sad if that question is the only drama involved!

  3. Andy Says:
    May 15th, 2012 at 6:26 am

    The All-Star race is as big a joke as the points structure. They’ve added so many gimmicks that it’s the equivalent of cruising for 490 miles and gassing it for the last 10.

    Give me 50 laps, no breaks, pit whenever you want for whatever you want. Two 100 heat races for those that don’t automatically qualify. That’s it, nothing else.

    And just between you and me, unless I missed the entire Summer and Labor Day was last weekend, that weren’t the Southern 500 neither.

  4. midasmicah Says:
    May 15th, 2012 at 7:22 am

    Sorry folks. Until the whole of nas$car quits treating the fans like they’re stupid, nothing is going to change. Great article, Rich.

  5. Tony Geinzer Says:
    May 15th, 2012 at 7:50 am

    I am beyond welcoming of having certain strings come with the Big 6 as the Daytona 500 should be exclusively for Twins Racing, All Star SHOULD Include Future Stars, Bobby LaBonte and Junior because T Wayne would have rolled if Terry or King Richard missed HIS race again, the 600 should be the 600 and make the All Star/600 the 1st Night Races of Summer, no discussions or arguments, and The Brickyard 400 should have 33 Cars Plain and Simple as the pureblooded Indy Historians would be happy and for the Southern 500, have it where College Football’s No Issue and have it be Saturday Night or Saturday Twilight so that the scheduling vampires would make no issue of it. Something needs to be done before All Star is 30 and Brickyard is 20.

  6. jerseygirl Says:
    May 15th, 2012 at 9:55 am

    Andy, I agree with you about the All Star race. We’ve had tickets and for the past 3 yrs, I’ve wondered why I bother to waste my time. This year I decided I wasn’t going to do it, so I’m not going to bother to go. I have plans with friends for Saturday night and I’m going to go and do that.

    Judy, based on what I’ve seen at Charlotte, the all star race will be more of the same stuff. It used to be fun to watch, I don’t think it is any more.

    Rich, agree with you on this point, but since BZF can’t possibly be wrong and according to his statment last year he wasn’t even AWARE that some people didn’t like the chase, the chances of it changing are nill.

    Will the last fan out, please turn out the lights? We’re trying to be environmentally correct you know.

  7. Bob T Says:
    May 15th, 2012 at 10:22 am

    Normally I agree with about everything you write but this time I’m going to play Devil’s Advocate and question some of your statements, Rich.
    All races should be about winning. To accept the fact that some events are more about points is one of the things that is killing NASCAR.
    The Winston (”All Star”) has, for the past few years, been as much about practice for the World 600 as it has been about actual racing.
    It isn’t actually the Southern 500. That is an iconic race title which belongs to the Labor Day race.
    No, I’m not some anachronistic who wants to go back to the 1970’s. I embrace change, when it is for betterment. The changes NASCAR has recently (Since the turn of the Century) have, I believe, been hurtful to the core values of the sport.

  8. Chris Fiegler Says:
    May 15th, 2012 at 5:50 pm

    Do you think that Future All-Star Races should be Cancelled Since the 2013 Pro-Bowl Will Probably be Cancelled?

  9. Overra88ted Says:
    May 15th, 2012 at 9:54 pm

    They should also eliminate the “Pity Pass” entry from the Sprint Shootout that gets a driver driving the best equipment in Nascar and hasn’t won a race in years, just making laps “saving his equipment” in the shootout for the All-Star race, an entry into the All-Star race. That would be Dale Jr.

  10. Benjamin P. Glaser Says:
    May 19th, 2012 at 8:02 am

    It seems strange to me that for all the hype around the All-Star Race they are showing it on SPEED and not another channel.

  11. Chris Fiegler Says:
    May 22nd, 2012 at 7:22 pm

    What do you guys think of the 2012 Sprint All-Star race?