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Radical changes to Sprint Cup scoring confirmed

NASCAR officials have confirmed a complete overhaul of the scoring system used for the Sprint Cup series, plus changes to the Chase and qualifying.
NASCAR's Sprint Cup scoring system has been something of a black art ever since it was introduced in 1975 that has confused teams, fans and media alike, and this week NASCAR confirmed long-running rumours that the scoring is to be radically simplified for 2011.

"Many of our most loyal fans don't fully understand the points system we have used to date," said NASCAR chairman and CEO Brian France. "We are simplifying the points system to one that is much easier to understand. Conceptually, it is comparable to our previous system, but it is easier to follow."

As expected, the system will now award 43pts to the winner, 42pts to second, 41pts for third right down to 1pt for last place in the 43-car field. There would also be three bonus points to the winner, a bonus point for leading any lap and another for leading the most laps. That would bring the maximum number of points on offer for a single event to 48pts.

The new points system will also be used in other NASCAR championships, so in the Camping World Truck Series the last place driver will gain 8pts because the field in that series numbers only 36 trucks.

As well as making the system much more transparent, it will also mean that scoring is much closer throughout the year and work against anyone gathering an unassailable lead that might impact on competitiveness and dampen fan interest.

"The fans tell us that winning matters the most with them," said France. "This makes every race count leading into the 26th race of the season at Richmond, when we set the field for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup."

The system used to qualify for the Chase will also be changed, with the top ten qualifying through their points standing after Richmond, but the final two positions going to the two drivers not already qualified who have scored the most race wins in the season to date. If no one outside the top ten had any race wins then the positions would default to the points standings instead.

The drivers who qualify for the Chase will have their points reset to 2000. The top ten drivers will also gain 3pts per win from the season to date, but the two "wild card" qualifiers will not gain this bonus.

Other announcements unveiled at the Sprint Media Tour event NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, N.C. include a new qualifying procedure that will see the running order set upon practice speeds, with those with the slowest times going first. In the event of weather cancelling qualifying then the final starting lineup will be determined by practice speeds; if weather cancels the practice sessions then the starting lineup will be set by owner points.




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Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, places his name in the top twelve on The Chase Grid after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series MyAFibStory.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 14, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
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The 16 drivers of the NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup are photographed at NASCAR Chase Media Day, September 11, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
The 16 drivers of the NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup are photographed at NASCAR Chase Media Day, September 11, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Sarah Glenn/NASCAR via Getty Images)
German Quiroga, driver of the #77 NET10 Wireless Toyota, stands on the grid during qualifying for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Lucas Oil 225 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 12, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Darrell Wallace Jr., driver of the #54 ToyotaCare Toyota, sits on the grid under an umbrella prior to qualifying for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Lucas Oil 225 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 12, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois.  (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
(Back Row L-R) Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet, Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Toyota, Carl Edwards, driver of the #99 Kelloggs/Frosted Flakes Ford, Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Catepillar Chevrolet, Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet, Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, Aric Almirola, driver of the #43 Gwaltney Ford, (Front Row L- R) Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, Greg Biffle, driver of the #16 3M Call Before You Dig Ford, AJ Allmendinger, driver of the #47 Bush`s Beans Chevrolet, Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet, Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Insurance Chevrolet, and Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet, pose with the Sprint Cup Trophy after qualifying for the Chase for the Sprint Cup during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (Photo Credit: Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
(Back Row L - R) Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet, Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Toyota, Carl Edwards, driver of the #99 Kelloggs/Frosted Flakes Ford, Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Catepillar Chevrolet, Miss Sprint Cup Madison Martin, Miss Sprint Cup Kim Coon, Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Insurance Chevrolet, Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, Aric Almirola, driver of the #43 Gwaltney Ford, (Front Row L- R) Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, Greg Biffle, driver of the #16 3M Call Before You Dig Ford, AJ Allmendinger, driver of the #47 Bush`s Beans Chevrolet, Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet, Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet, and Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, pose with the Sprint Cup Trophy after qualifying for the Chase  (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet, races Casey Mears, driver of the #13 GEICO Chevrolet, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond International Raceway on September 6, 2014 in Richmond, Virginia.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)
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Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS, finished in second place Saturday, September 6, 2014 in the Nascar Sprint Cup race at Richmond International Raceway in Richmond, Virginia. Gordon leads the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. Eight Chevy drivers are in the Chase for the Sprint Cup, which begins next week at Chicagoland Speedway. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
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Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, poses with the Coors Light Pole Award after qualifying for the pole for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond International Raceway on September 5, 2014 in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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Uncle Sam - Unregistered

January 27, 2011 5:41 PM

They should only score the top thirty, if for no other reason than safety. Now everyone will have a reason to go out in 1/3 of a car after a wreck, to gain positions and points. Let's face it, if a car isn't able to maintain race pace, it is a hazard and has no place on the track.



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