NASCAR is looking into changing its points system.
NASCAR CEO Brian France is expected to make an announcement next week in Charlotte detailing exactly what changes will take place. Right now, all we know is that a change is seemingly imminent.
The NASCAR sanctioning body is expected to scrap the points system it has used since 1975, in an effort to simplify the system to make it easier for fans to understand. The current points system NASCAR uses looks like this.
Fans have been petitioning for a new system for the past few years; the most common complaint about the current system being that winners should be rewarded better than they are now. At the moment, the winner of a NASCAR race earns 185 points, while the second-place finisher earns 170; not exactly a great big difference.
However, with the system the sanctioning body is throwing around now, it is possible that winners may be rewarded even less.
The system that could be announced as soon as next week, and implemented as soon as this season, has the winner earning 43 points, second-place earning 42 points, third-place earning 41 points, and so on and so forth down to the 43rd-place finisher, who would earn 1 point.
Now, instead of earning 15 points more than second, the winning driver would earn just one point more than second.
Hot dang. Show me that trophy.
Ideas being kicked around for bonus points include anywhere from one to three points being given out to lap-leaders which, under this kind of system, would be relevant. And sure, since points would be harder to come by, they would be more valuable.
But what would winning mean?
The difference in points from first to second and 10th to 11th is exactly the same. So basically, the race for first would be no more relevant as far as points are concerned than the race for 10th, 20th, or 40th.
In other words, winning becomes nearly irrelevant.
The whole reasoning behind the desire for a new system is so that winners will be rewarded more; thus increasing the excitement in the closing laps for the race to the checkered flag, and making winning a virtual necessity in winning a championship.
Instead, winning under this proposed system would be even less meaningful than it is right now.
Is a change to the system necessary? Maybe, but only if the changes mean that race winners will be far more handsomely rewarded than they are now.
Because, in the end, isn’t winning supposed to be the “only thing”?
Note: Included in the proposed system is that the Chase system will be kept in place. It would still be a 12-man, 10-race system. However, the qualifying drivers would be the top 10 in points, and the two drivers outside the top 10 in points who have the most victories in the season.
Also, no elimination-type system is expected to be implemented.