Wednesday, January 21
Change is good, but not too muchI would like to go on record as a big supporter of NASCAR's new points system. Overall, they've done a nice job.Here is the outline:
The new format will take effect after the first 26 races. The drivers in the top 10 and any other within 400 points of the leader will earn a berth in what NASCAR has dubbed the "Chase for the Championship."The first thing you should notice about that is that they did not change the way points are awarded. That's good. NASCAR rewards consistency, which, aside from being a laudable goal on its own, keeps the racing exciting even when one driver runs away with a race - you still need to cheer your driver on to a top 10, even if he can't win the darned thing. I'm also on board with NASCAR?s decision to create this "playoff" system. I'm a pretty big fan, but it's even tough to get me to watch Atlanta at the end of the year because everything has been decided. This system will prevent that, and it'll be GREAT for the last 10 races.In addition, they?ve made it fair. Take a quick gander at the last 10 races: New Hampshire, Dover, Talladega, Kansas, Charlotte, Martinsville, Atlanta, Phoenix, Darlington, Miami. I count 1 short track, 1 superspeedway, 2 1-mile ovals, 5 of these 1.5 to 2 mile banked D tracks that are taking over the sport, and Darlington. That's a decently representative selection (although the D shaped tracks are a bit too cookie cutter for me - weren't Charlotte and Michigan enough?). No road course, but, hey, let's be honest, those aren't real NASCAR races anyway. And they even softened the blow of moving Darlington from Labor Day weekend by giving it a "semi-final" position, and likely ensured that Martinsville will remain on the schedule by putting it in the final 10. So, hip hip horray for NASCAR. Well done boys.
Those drivers will have their point totals adjusted. The first-place driver will begin the final 10 races with 5,050 points, the second driver 5,045 and so on, with incremental drops of five points for all those involved in the championship showdown.