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Time to Compromise in NASCAR

It seems that nobody can agree on a championship formula.

On one side, you have the old-school fans/Jimmie Johnson “haters” who believe that the old system is the way to go. It may not have been the most exciting formula, but it was always fair, and did produce some tight points finishes.

On the other side, you have the newer fans/Jimmie Johnson fans who believe that the new Chase system is the way to go. Though it may not produce the most deserving champion, it tends to at least make things a little more interesting.

These two sides can’t seem to agree on anything, and until something gets figured out, we may never have a system that everybody can agree on.

So, in the meantime, I propose that we implement both systems.

That’s right, both systems. We’ll count the points using both the old system, and the Chase system. In the end, the driver who accumulates the most points under each respective system will be a champion, or a “co-champion”, if you will.

It sounds like a crazy idea, I know. NASCAR has never had a two-champion system. In fact, no professional sport out there has this kind of a system. The only sport I know of that can possibly have two champions is college football, in the rare case that the AP crowns a champion that did not play in the BCS National Championship Game, as was the case in 2003, when the LSU Tigers won the BCS title game, but the AP crowned the USC Trojans as National Champions. That year, the Tigers and the Trojans were co-champions.

It isn’t a fun system. Nobody like having to share the title. But think about it. Would you rather have two co-champions that everybody can agree on, or a champion whom many believe shouldn’t be champion at all?

If both systems are used, we would likely have more excitement down the stretch. Instead of relying on just one system to bring us an exciting finish, we would have two opportunities to see a battle right down to the wire.

What about records? What if a driver is a co-champion 5 years in a row? Would his name be placed in the record books forever? No. Only if he wins under both systems 5 years in a row would he have his name in the record books. It’s a feat that seems nearly impossible, but if it were accomplished, it would be that much more admirable.

And finally, what about the banquet? Who gets to go, and who sits at the head table? The banquet would feature every team that finishes in the top 10 in points, under either system. Since most teams that make the Chase would finish in the top 10 in points under the old system anyway, there wouldn’t be many more than 10 teams at the banquet. As far as the head table, there would be two head tables; one for each champion, unless the same driver wins under both systems. In which case, there would only be one.

Racing under both systems at the same time would present quite a challenge. It would make for more exciting racing, at least on the points side. It would result in co-champions in most cases, which wouldn’t be very popular.

But until we can come up with a system that everyone can agree on, we may just have to compromise.

Tags: Chase

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