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January 22, 2007

NASCAR’s New Points System, Explained

NASCAR today unveiled some changes to the points system for this coming year’s Nextel Cup Series. The changes are meant to put more emphasis on winning, and make sure that NASCAR favorites like Jeff Gordan and Dale Earnhardt, Jr., consistently make the Chase for the Championship.

As a public service, I’ve decided to publish this guide to the new system.

  • Anyone winning a race throughout the year is automatically eligible for the Chase (unless you’re in one of those underfunded single-car teams).
  • They’ve done away with the 400 points from the leader after 26 races rule. Instead, the top 12 drivers (if those drivers have led a lap) are eligible for the Chase.
  • During the regular season, the winner of a race gets 185 points. Losers get the distinction of having won some money.
  • If a driver wins a race, and there’s a full moon, then that driver gets to pick another car from the field and that car’s driver loses all of his points.
  • For the first time ever “non-points” races will pay out points. The winners of the Gatorade 150 will each receive a lifetime supply of Gatorade and 25 points. The winner of the All Star race will receive the 25 points plus have everyone in the stands added to his family call list on his Nextel phone.
  • If a race winner happens to be a woman, she’ll get 1000 extra points, just because it’s harder for women to drive and put makeup on.

NASCAR is contemplating changes to the points system in the Busch series as well. The most significant of those is that if the winner of a Busch Series race isn’t a full-time Nextel Cup driver, he automatically wins the championship and the rest of the season is cancelled.

I hope this summary of the new points systems has been helpful.

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