There has been a lot of talk amongst the fans about how hard the points system has been to understand since I started watching the sport.Ã‚Â Trying to explain the system to new fans required a degree in algebra, a scientific calculator, and the student had to be versed in quantum physics, or at least that is how it was explained to me when I first started tuning in weekly to the races.Ã‚Â Even after watching for over 15 years I still had no idea of all the intricacies of the points system.Ã‚Â Well those days are gone as the powers that be FINALLY listened to the fans and made it into something that we can better understand.
Here’s how it works now.Ã‚Â There are 43 cars in the field.Ã‚Â You get one point for each position.Ã‚Â If you are the race winner you get 43 points, second place gets 42, third gets 41 and so on down the line to the 43rd position getting one point.Ã‚Â Ã‚Â In addition to the points allocated:
* Any driver who leads a lap during a race receives one bonus point.
* The driver who leads the most laps receives an additional one bonus point.
* The race winner receives three bonus points.
Essentially now if a driver wins the race, and leads the most laps they are looking at a total of 48 points.Ã‚Â Easy math now.Ã‚Â I can put my scientific calculator away now while trying to determine who is where in the points after the race has concluded.
As usual when you want to know what the fans are thinking … ask the fans.Ã‚Â I put this question to the people who follow the Fans Of Dale Earnhardt Jr page I run on Facebook to get some of their responses.
” Should’ve been done like this a long time ago!”
“I won’t be happy till they dump the chase completely. Hear that? Thats the sound of tv ratings going further down”
“It will be easier to keep up with the points”
Just some of the initial reactions of people within a few moments of posing the question.Ã‚Â The fans have been asking for a points change since before the chase was designed.Ã‚Â In fact I am willing to bet that if the chase format had never been implemented and this points system put into place instead there may have been more buts in the seats over the past few years.Ã‚Â How could I possibly be of that opinion you ask?Ã‚Â Simple, no points reset with 10 to go and the points you worked hard to earn all season are still yours.Ã‚Â No longer is there 10 or 12 guys battling it out, but the entire field still has a chance to gain on the points leader every time they head out.Ã‚Â This means that for fans of guys like Jamie McMurray and Juan Pablo Montoya there is no being left out of contention with 10 races to go.Ã‚Â Sure we would still run into the issue of a champion being crowned weeks before the season ended, but the chase format didn’t put an end to that happening either.Ã‚Â 2010 was the first season where we had the possibility of multiple winners taking the championship home all the way to the final race of the season and yet ratings still fell.
NASCAR is trying everything that they can it seems to bring press to the people and get the word out there that they are still on TV.Ã‚Â Let hope that this little change will bring a few more viewers back to them so that the sport we love can continue.Ã‚Â There has been talk of shortening the races by some including Dale Earnhardt and Rick Hendrick. Shortening the races would obviously change what some of the outcomes may be, but in the end the race itself always determines the winner, no matter what the Jimmie Johnson haters may say.
I say this would be another great idea.Ã‚Â Limiting the time to equal that of say a Hockey game or an NFL game would make it much easier to sell to today’s limited attention span audience.Ã‚Â With so many options to watch no one really wants to sit for 6 hours to watch anything these days.Ã‚Â I like the idea of shortening the races to get them into a 3 – 4 hour time slot.Ã‚Â It would allow the average watcher more time to themselves or with their families instead of listening to Rusty or Kenny ramble on about the good old days.Ã‚Â (Not that I don’t find that entertaining too, but I really watch for the racing action)
Here’s hoping NASCAR will listen to the fans some more and fix a few more of the things that fans have told them are driving us away.Ã‚Â Want to make more of an impact on the sport you love?Ã‚Â Try joining the NASCARÃ‚Â Fan Council and fill in a survey after each race.Ã‚Â That’s where they got the idea for th e points system.. maybe it will effect everything else eventually too.