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Why not start Chasers in the Top 12 every week?

By admin | October 19, 2008

By Richard Allen


Since it has essentially become a common practice anyway, why not just plan to always start the Chase for the Championship drivers in the Top 12 for every Chase race?

Qualifying for the Tums QuikPak 500 in Martinsville was rained out. It seems as though rain on a Friday at a NASCAR track has become a certainty of late(which makes me wish there was a track in the Knoxville area with a race upcoming).

As the race started on Sunday, the Chase contestants were immediately matched up with each other. That did not seem like such a bad thing. Perhaps it should just become the norm.

Make no mistake, qualifying should not be done away with once the Chase starts. It should still be held to determine what drivers actually make the race and pit stall selection. The fastest qualifier should still be rewarded in some way, but since the Bud Shootout is no longer for pole winners the only thing lost would be track position.

Maybe instead of lining up by points, the Chasers could have their own qualifying session. They would qualify against themselves for the spots inside the Top 12 while the others vied for positions 13-43.

NASCAR’s playoff system is different from almost every other playoff system in sports. Those who did not qualify for the playoff are still allowed to race among those who did. However, their place in the standings is treated differently from those who did qualify.

Since the system is a bit of an oddity, why not just go all the way and completely separate the two groups on qualifying day? That way the championship contenders could get right down to business. Apparently, Mother Nature thinks it is a good idea. Maybe NASCAR should consider it.

Richard Allen is a member of the National Motorsports Press Association. His weekly column appears in The Mountain Press every Wednesday.

Topics: Articles |

5 Responses to “Why not start Chasers in the Top 12 every week?”

  1. Tom Wilkinson Says:
    October 20th, 2008 at 4:30 am

    If you want to degrade this series even further that sure would do it. The best cure would be to do away with the chase. It’s no wonder that tv ratings are down. TV doesn’t even recognize that there are other competitors on the track.

  2. dawg Says:
    October 20th, 2008 at 8:37 am

    Hell, why not just run it like a Sat. night short track show.
    Just run the 32 pathetic losers, in what would be like a “B” feature/ hooligan race. Who knows? they might even get a little coverage.

    Then WOW, “The Feature” just the fabulous, annointed 12. No rif, raf. Just the chosen few, come to think of it. That’s pretty much the way it is now!

  3. Charles Says:
    October 20th, 2008 at 8:58 am

    I agree with Tom, the Chase is ruining Nascar! When I go the race, I want to see racing, I could care less who is at the banquet at New York!
    What I think would be a much better format is to pay points on laps led, give the winner a bonus! That way the race would be important! Exchanging passes for the lead is what racing is about, pay one point a lap, then total up and give winner a bonus, maybe this would make the whole race more exciting! Just having boring races only to have it end well is not getting it no more, plus just getting a “top five” does not do the paying fans justice!

  4. tim Says:
    October 21st, 2008 at 6:16 am

    I have a better idea, NA$CAR needs to qualify the cars, even if it means pulling one of the practices. Oh, by the way, with the rediculus top 35 rule, the go or go homers should be able to qualify earliest when weather is iffy.

  5. yankeegranny Says:
    October 21st, 2008 at 8:23 am

    Great idea. Qualify them separately and the chasers to the front. While you are at it, let’s get rid of the double file restart with the lap-down traffic on the inside. Put them behind the lead-lap traffic in a double file restart where they belong. i would keep the lucky-dog ,however.Times change and their is no reason NASCAR shouldn’t.