NASCAR Brings in New Tidal Wave With Possible New Points System

Ashley McCubbinAnalyst IJanuary 19, 2011

HOMESTEAD, FL - NOVEMBER 19:  NASCAR chairman Brian France speaks during a press conference prior to practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 19, 2010 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Chris Trotman/Getty Images

After NASCAR deamed the point standings a bad situation and a reason for losing fans, it has been looking at a new points system.

This would be the first change in the system since 1975, but the scoring system would award 43 points to the race winner, and one point less for each ensuing position down to one point for the 43rd-place finisher. The addition of awarding bonus points per leading lap and leading the most has yet to be decided, but it ranges from one to three points.

The Associated Press also reports that NASCAR is looking at changing how drivers qualify for the Chase. The top 10 drivers following the 26th race of the season would qualify for the Chase, while the remaining two spots would go to the drivers with the most wins who are not already eligible for the Chase.

NASCAR President Mike Helton and Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton are scheduled to discuss some of the changes implemented for 2011, including the racing for only one championship clause, during Preseason Thunder at Daytona.

However, announcements regarding the change are not scheduled to be made until the following week during media week. France is expected during media week to make a presentation during Charlotte Motor Speedway's annual tour with the details.


The Good

The good thing with these changes is that they do make winning more important in a small way. Basically, if you figure that you are not going to make the top 10 in points so many races into the season, you can switch your focus to wins to try to get in that way. This will bring forth a group of drivers doing anything to win to therefore save their championship chances, hopefully bringing forth more competition for wins.


The Bad

The new points system now only has a one point gap between each position so if it gets late in the race, drivers have less ability to gain those extra points, compared to the old system which awards a difference of three, four and five points between certain positions.

The new system was suppose to provide a bigger gap between first and second to bring forth more anticipation to go after wins. Instead, they have decreased that gap from 10 points to one point, taking away that need a little bit.


A Problem with Both

Neither system does a good job at awarding drivers for their qualifying effort, therefore making qualifying unimportant for the top 35 drivers in the standings who are locked in. Some say qualifying is self-rewarding with how you get to start further up the field.

With the ability to pass as much as you can and drive your way through the field, where's the advantage? Others say that it allows you to get a better pit selection, but we've also seen drivers win from every different pit situation imaginable. Lastly, it is not guaranteed that the driver will get those five points on the first lap for leading as they could get passed or wrecked.

Entry to the Bud Shootout used to be a prize for pole winners, yet we've seen that disappear.

So now we've come to a point where qualifying isn't important and now seems as a waste of time for some fans to watch.


The Solution?

The current points system has a bunch of haters, though after the type of championship fight we saw this past season and what we've seen with the system, why change what has worked for so long? A lot of this is just brought forth via the continued dominance of Jimmie Johnson. What is stopping him from doing it again come 2011 with a closer system?

Giving more points for wins is one of the biggest criticisms and one that is heard the most so let's keep the same system and award a 15-20 point difference between first and second.

Then to solve the famous dilemma that we see with qualifying losing importance, let's borrow something from ARCA and award 15 points for a pole, 10 points for second and five points for third. If you give an incentive, teams would actually put forth an effort for Friday and you may get fans turning in.

The new Chase qualifications are the only thing that's good to come from the proposed deal as it awards for wins. Though as far as the proposed points system, it doesn't look too good.