Why We Should Change the Chase Points System

At one race away from the ten race Chase for the Sprint Cup Series Championship, I feel I can finally breathe a sigh of relief. My driver, along with the top 10 series drivers, is pretty much locked into the Chase for the Cup.  However, just like last season, I am left wondering if the Chase doesn’t need to be changed slightly.  

I don’t think the “play offs” for NASCAR should rely so heavily on the driver’s performance throughout the season.  While it is important to have that performance through the 26 races that get you into the chase, I don’t think it’s necessary to reward that performance once the chase begins.  I think the “chasers” (those who are in the top 12 of the points standings at the end of race 26) should all start their playoffs (the chase) on equal footing.  It is my firm belief that by having the top 12 start on equal footing it will give the chase a bit more excitement and make it that much more competitive.  

I think NASCAR should give each of the top twelve drivers 5000 points and let them start anew.  I think this will increase excitement for fans AND for the drivers and teams. No one will be worried about starting the chase “behind.” It would give the teams with “momentum” incentive to work hard to continue their drive for the cup and it would give the 11th and 12th place cars hope that they too have a chance for the series cup trophy even if they have no wins currently under their belt or no real momentum going into the chase. If the driver has more hope that he can win the championship, so does the fan for that driver, thus increasing excitement and drive.

Now, I am not a mathematician by any stretch of the imagination, but I don’t see any reason why dropping the bonus points would be a problem.  The only thing I can possibly think of is that if qualifying for the first chase race is rained out. Then there might be the issue of how to place the top 12 since they are on equal footing (all tied at 5000 points at the beginning of the chase). My answer to this problem is to go by the points standings at the end of the 26th race in the event that qualifying for the first chase race is rained out. This would only be an issue during that first race of the chase as after the first race, the drivers will have points differences between them based on finishes. Doing this makes the chase less of a mini season within main “regular season” to a stand alone playoff format.

Do you agree? What do you think?

-Amy Marbach

Read More from Amy Marbach at Amy's Bad Groove

Photo Credit: Ford Racing