Thursday, January 27, 2011

NASCAR doesn't do enough with points system

I was afraid of this, and sure enough it has happened: NASCAR's new points system looks way too much like the old one.

The scoring is simplified, yes -- the base points will be awarded on a 43-to-1 basis, giving 43 points to the winner in the field, 42 to second place and so on, down until 1 point for the 43rd (and last)-place finisher.

But as I wrote last week in The Charlotte Observer, you have to have a serious number of bonus points attached to first place to ensure drivers risk everything to get there in the final laps.

I suggested 25 extra bonus points for the winner.

NASCAR went with three.

It's just not enough, even though NASCAR will award a bonus point to anyone who leads a lap and one more to whomever leads the most laps. With a maximum of 48 points per race, that's just not enough separation between first and second and third and on down the line. It values consistency more than winning, which has always been the problem.

On the other hand, NASCAR made a positive move by allowing the final two spots in the 12-driver Chase for the Championship to go to the drivers with the most wins who weren't already in the Top 10. So that mitigates this a little, given that those drivers who win but have more up-and-down results can still make the Chase.

Still, it's not enough. If you're going to change the points system, you really need to change the points system, and not just make it simpler to deal with but still with the same inherent problem that winning doesn't count for enough.


Anonymous said...

Agreed. I rarely watch NASCAR any more because each individual race counts for so little, even for the winner. Especially on the cookie-cutter mile and a half tracks, the races become very humdrum ho-hum.

Anonymous said...

Of course NASCAR is trying a new point system. They have got to figure out a way to try and get Jr. into the mix without just giving him a spot.

Anonymous said...

Have the drivers drink liquor for 2 hours before the race.

Then have a 1 hour race.

The winner is the driver with the highest combined finishing position and breathalyzer result.

Anonymous said...

Why is this on the Panthers' page?

Anonymous said...

Why is this on the Panthers' page?

Anonymous said...

Agreed. Why is this on the Panther's page, Scott??? Could you not summon up your usual, inane Panthers drivel???? Someone please explain to me why he is still on the Observer's staff.....anyone???

Anonymous said...

Scott, I'm with you on this one.

Let's have a little history lesson. Back in the '60s and early '70s, it was common to have 40-50 races a year. And of course you had the super-teams of Richard Petty and David Pearson who were so much better than everyone else they could easily win at least half the races they ran in. So (as legend says) there was a gathering at a Daytona bar where the points system we know was developed. It was put in place to force drivers to run all the races in order to win the championship. By the '80s, NASCAR was no longer holding races at campgrounds and beaches and had cut back to 29 races. At that point, the points system became obsolete.

With all the money sponsors put into race teams these days, there is little risk of someone wanting to be in 20 races and expecting to win the title. So you have to place more emphasis on winning.

There are 2 other issues that need to be addressed: "Start and park," where a marginal driver starts the race and a few laps in, "mysteriously" has a problem and drops out, and wrecked cars racing for 1 or 2 more spots. This causes those "debris cautions" that alter the outcome of some races.

To provent this, award no points or money for finishing worse than 30th. Also, award no point for leading a lap.

I would have loved to see them set the winning points at 100, then 75 points for second, then -1 point for positions 3-30. Keep the 5 points for leading the most laps.

Anonymous said...

I agree that this does nothing good, but actually makes it worse. It used to be that the difference between 2nd-6th was greater than 22nd and 26th, giving at least some motivation to keep racing for the habitual 4th-5th place cruisers.

I also agree that points should stop after 30th. Give 31-43 5 points to award making the race, and that is it.

DMorrisPE said...

1. Points for 1st thru 30 ONLY: 50, 35, 28, 27, 26, 25, etc. No points for 31-43. 1st & 2nd points include bonus for good finish.

2. 5 Bonus points for leading the most laps

3. 2 Bonus points for quickest legal pit stop of the race with no penalties such as speeding, missing lug nuts, stuck gas can, running over hoses. Reward the pit crew's work.

Anonymous said...

I don't know why they continue to give a bonus for leading one lap. With all the team orders, how hard can that be for eighty percent of the drivers to accomplish. One of their team mates will just pull over and let them go by. Can you imagine Bobby Allison letting Richard Petty go by just so he could get bonus points. Didn't think so. I thought this was a racing series not a charity organization, or at least it use to be. said...

The new points system sounds interesting! I am just a casual fan of NASCAR but intend on following it a little more closely this year. It sounds like there is a strong commitment from the governing body to attract more fans. I hope it works!

Anonymous said...

Why not have the Regular Season winner be seeded 1st or at least tied for first to start the Chase regardless of the number of wins they may have? They earned that right by winning the Regular Season over the first 26 races.

Anonymous said...

Nascar still doesnt get it!

Fans dont really care about the Chase or how it get awarded!
The big problem is to much is made out of the Chase and it demotes the reason we go or watch, it the race!
Nascar biggest problem is races get boring in the mid portians, the action is usally at the end!

If they would let the points be a incentive to make drivers want to lead instead of taking a top 5 racing would be much better!

Paying points to lead lap segments would be a good start!

Ask youself two simple question as to why you go or watch a race on TV!

Am I here to see a great race?
Am I here to see who wins the Chase?

Anonymous said...

I think everyone should just shut up, quit whining and offering opinions, and just enjoy the race!!!

Anonymous said...

They should do away with the starting over for the last however many it is races. If they want the fans involved at the end then judt dont score any points for anyone for the first so many races, then start the points the last 15 or however many races they want at the end. That way every driver has a chance at the end, make the first races just for winners. Maybe give each winner 1 point to start at the end for each race they won.

Anonymous said...

Panthers page? Uhhh ... its called the sports section blogs but lets hope the new rookie coach Rivera is smart enough not to take Newton as first pick since he brought up the first need is for a new QB. Hell they been saying that for years.
They took a Heisman and everything else winner who was "clean" with Weinke 10 yrs ago and it didnt work out. He was bigger stronger and better than Newton too plus had the 2nd best rookie season of all time.

Better hold out for Luck in 2012 and skip the troubled one from Atlanta metro who played for 3 schools in 3 years and was backup as a freshman to Florida Gator Tebow who was a soph and won the Heisman that yr.
Newton went to a Jr College in Texas as a soph and then to Auburn his jr year after soliciting schools like Miss St a big wad under the table that Auburn paid. Miss St reported to the NCAA and Auburn invest from the FBI is still pending.

Other than riding the pine behind Tebow until he could start his senior year, Newton was also caught stealing a high dollar students laptop his freshman year and thats the real reason he left Florida.

Anonymous said...

Jimmy Clausen is a joke.

and a turd

Anonymous said...

Fox played Clausen to get the 1st pick for defense. Either Fairley or Flowers should be picked. The 2nd pick could be QB as there are 10 quality QBs in the draft.