NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: Are There Any More Changes That Could Improve It?

Jim FolsomContributorNovember 6, 2012

Brad Keselowski is currently in second place in the Sprint Cup Chase
Brad Keselowski is currently in second place in the Sprint Cup ChaseJared C. Tilton/Getty Images

It seems like there are little tweaks to it every year.

The Chase for the Sprint Cup started out as the top 10 drivers in points after Race 26. Then it went to the top 12, supposedly because Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished 11th. Now we have the top 10 plus two wild cards, based on who has the most wins of the 11-20th place drivers.

I like this system. I don't know how we can improve on it, except for one thing:

Start over and wipe the slates clean when the Chase begins.

In no other sport (except baseball in Japan) does one team start the playoffs already ahead. When the playoffs start everybody that in the Chase should be at zero. You got in, that's great. It doesn't matter if you got in by dominating the "regular season," you now have to get it done in the "postseason."

When the New England Patriots went 16-0 in 2007, the New York Giants went 10-6. But when the Giants beat them in the Super Bowl, they were crowned the champs, even though they were still five games behind the Patriots record-wise. But they were perfect in the postseason. And that is what mattered.

Wouldn't it be pretty cool to see Jeff Gordon, Kevin Harvick, Tony Stewart, Jimmie Johnson, Brad Keselowski and Carl Edwards all in a 10-race shootout, all starting at zero?

If you are going to have a regular season/postseason format, then do it right. Don't let drivers bring regular season accomplishments to the postseason. Other sports don't allow it. Why does NASCAR?

The only other improvement I would like to see would be perhaps changing the tracks involved in the Chase. Somehow, Daytona needs to be in the Chase. If that means moving the July race to Talladega and October to Daytona, then so be it.

I would also like to see Bristol added to the Chase. And I would not be opposed to Indianapolis being included. These are the "big race" venues. Why are we having the championship decided at Loudon, Dover or Kansas?

Those would be the changes I would make, but none of those are really pressing. The changes made so far have made the Chase a really good system.