NASCAR Points System: Sprint Cup Series Drivers React to Proposed Changes
On Thursday, Sprint Cup series drivers got their chance to start getting their cars dialed in for next month's Daytona 500.
Following the morning session, drivers also got their first chance to weigh in on proposed changes to the NASCAR points system. The proposal would abandon the 35-year-old Latford points system in favor of a new structure where the winner would be awarded 43 points and each position following would reduce in value by one point.
The 43rd and last-place finisher would be awarded one point.
There's no word yet on how bonus points would be awarded, and the issue may be addressed by NASCAR president Mike Helton and vice president of competition Robin Pemberton Friday afternoon.
Here's a quick recap of what some drivers had to say about the new system:
Tony Stewart, No. 14 Office Depot Chevrolet
"As long as we all start the year and we understand what the point structure is and how you get the points, then you race accordingly."
"But it's still going to be on a situation where if you win races the points take care of itself, and as long as it's not a deal where you ever get in a situation where running 30th pays more points than winning then it shouldn't really change how you race, it's just you know if it's a 36-week deal that leads into a championship or a 10-week deal, you know how to prepare for it."
Martin Truex Jr., No. 56 NAPA Toyota
"Well, I think no matter what they decide to do, they're going to do what's best for the sport. And I think all of us in here, in the garage, drivers, crew chiefs, owners, everybody understands that. When we come to Daytona, it doesn't matter what we're racing for, we're all out there to win."
"It doesn't matter how many points we get or anything. We just come here each week to do the best we can for our sponsors, for ourselves and try to win races."
Carl Edwards, No. 99 AFLAC Ford
"If it makes it simpler to determine—for instance, if I'm running 12th or something, I don't know exactly how many points that's worth. I've been doing this long enough, I should know that.
"If it makes it simpler to understand for the competitors and the fans, who gets how many points, I think that's great. I think it's a good move."
Kurt Busch, No. 22 Shell Pennzoil Dodge
"I'd like to go back for myself and just do research and plug those numbers in to past years and to see who comes out on top or to see how things change around and to help fine-tune it a little bit more, because in the end you still want it to be about consistency, but you have to be consistent during those 10 weeks."
Is the revamped 43-1 points sytem a good idea?
"When you sit there and change around points 100 different ways, we still end up with the same champion nine times out of 10 it seems like."
Denny Hamlin, No. 11 FedEx Toyota
"I do think it's simpler for people to figure out. Obviously when you know you're 18 points behind someone, that's 18 spots without the bonus points and everything."
"From what I saw that they proposed, the one thing that they were open to is possibly giving a few more bonus points for the wins in the regular season to count towards the Chase, and I think because just maybe giving one point to someone who wins a race, putting that to your Chase points, that's only one spot, that's not equal to what we had before."
"I'm definitely in favor of the one to 43. I think it's going to be easier for us to figure out to be honest with you."
Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet
"I think it's more of an attempt to make our points system easier to understand.
I don't think that it would be a huge change from the thought that I've put into it so far. I don't see it being a big thing. I know people expect me to react and think, oh, they've got to leave it alone, don't change it. I don't care what races are in the Chase, the format to win the championship; I could care less because I feel confident that my team will be able to win championships under any set of circumstances."
"I don't believe it's a huge strategy to engage the fans more from an attendance standpoint for a viewership standpoint. I mean, you always hope for that. I think in my opinion there are other areas to focus on for that. This would give us something to talk about and hopefully simplify the system and make it easier to follow"
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