Blog Entry

New Points System on Horizon

Posted on: January 18, 2011 12:18 pm
Edited on: January 18, 2011 12:26 pm
Here we go again.

Those fans who have tired of the seemingly endless string of changes that have come into the NASCAR world in recent years won't like the potential news of yet another massive modification to big league stock car racing.

Forget about rumored tweaks to the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship system. By all accounts it appears NASCAR is ready to overhaul its entire points system and scrap a format that has been in place since 1975.

Speculation is NASCAR will replace the current system and implement championship points for every race with a 43-1 formula, meaning the race winner will receive the maximum 43 while last place gets one point. How bonuses for laps led and most laps led in a race will work out have yet to be determined but the new plan will at the very least simplify numbers and how they are distributed.

At first glance maybe that's not such a bad thing. Shrinking the points pool will allow fans to pretty easily figure out how many the guy who takes the checkered flag earned and by simple math what the tenth place finisher is awarded as well.

It appears that in reality the system will still be based on consistency and that really just a smaller set of numbers will be instituted and in turn provide a relatively easy way for fans to follow along.

How the Chase works, who qualifies for the playoffs, what criteria allows drivers to make the title run and how the field is set for the ten race championship schedule are also not known at this time. All will no doubt be explained during NASCAR CEO Brian France's "State of the Sport" presentation during next week's annual pre-season media tour in Charlotte.

While the radical change in the points system might indeed make sense once it's all sorted out, my bigger question is how will it impact NASCAR's overall fan base which has grown increasingly tired of the many moves the sport has made since 2004?

Does this latest idea run the risk of running off even more fans rather than attract the new ones the sport so desperately seeks? Since the controversial Chase format was introduced in 2004, it has undergone at least three modifications with more apparently on the way. There comes a time when a sport needs to let things settle when changes are put into place but despite France stating two years ago the sanctioning body was going to do just that, NASCAR has kept the announcements coming at a fast and furious pace. Just last week the policy of allowing drivers to run for only one championship per season was uncovered in a move that dramatically altered the Nationwide Series title picture.

The 2010 season was by far the most competitive in the sport's recent history and statistics say of all time. With that on-track product on such a high, I question whether it's wise to shift the focus away from the track and shake up a points system that helped create some memorable championship scenarios over the years including last season's Chase which went down to the wire in Homestead.

We'll find out just how much change is too much in the coming weeks.
Category: Auto Racing

Since: Feb 24, 2008
Posted on: January 21, 2011 8:15 am

New Points System on Horizon

This change is ridiculous, I would call it's an anti-48 tweak. The biggest issue I have with that is the lost of value of an overtake. If you are running 43 and overtake for 42 position, you earn 1 point, the same point you'd earn if you overtake for 2nd position. Take F1 for instace. They had a pretty conservative point system for decades with the winner scoring 10 points. They changed it this year for more valuable winning, second and third position. We had a great championship with many points leaders throught the Year. I'm ok with the Idea of simplifying the system, but they can't give away the idea of award the top 10, top 5, top 3 and winning. This will not be awarded with this new point system. 

Since: Jun 5, 2009
Posted on: January 18, 2011 2:00 pm

New Points System on Horizon

You're assuming that a majority of Nascar fans are capable of simple math, Pistone.  I wouldn't make that leap myself..

Since: Aug 13, 2007
Posted on: January 18, 2011 1:40 pm

New Points System on Horizon

A 43-1 formula sounds like a disaster in the making.  Unless I'm missing something, this scenario would put an even smaller premium on winning races, and encourage even more of the conservative, boring "big picture" points racing that chases more and more racing fans (myself included) away from NASCAR.

A scoring system similar to the Indy format might be what the doctor ordered.  If the 43-1 format gets implemented, warped minds suspect Matt Kenseth will get a hard-on the size of Florida at the thought of parlaying top 5s and top 10s into another championship title.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or