Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Sports

September 11, 2013

de la Bastide: NASCAR decision half right

Changes are needed in Chase format.

(Continued)

What was Bowyer’s penalty for damaging the integrity of the sport? He was docked 50 points, which dropped him from third to seventh in the standings. But he is still allowed to compete for the title.

The real problem is the point system utilized by NASCAR. If a driver wins a race, they receive one point more than the second-place driver. The winning driver gets three bonus points and one for leading a lap. A fifth point is available if the winning driver leads the most laps.

There is really not much incentive for a driver to win races, aside from the three bonus points awarded for when the Chase starts. As an example, a driver wins a race and is awarded 43 points, three for the win and one for leading a lap — a minimum award of 47 points for winning. A second-place driver receives 42 points and could receive two bonus points for leading a lap and leading the most laps for a total of 44 points.

That’s three extra points for a victory. The winner of a race should receive at least 25 extra points to make it worthwhile, not taking into consideration the purse money.

Or why not base the Chase field on wins during the regular season? Win a race and you’re in the Chase, don’t record a victory and you can’t contend for the championship.

If that was the rule, the Chase field in 2013 would consist of Matt Kenseth, Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Busch, Carl Edwards, Kevin Harvick, Greg Biffle, Joey Logano, Kasey Kahne, Newman, Tony Stewart, Truex and David Ragan.

That would equal 12 drivers in the Chase and give added incentive to win races. Would it really matter if there were more than 12 winners in a year that would qualify for the Chase? It might attract more fans for the final 10 races.

IN OTHER RACING NEWS

The Champion Racing Association has added a final race at Anderson Speedway for the Late Model Sportsman and Street Stocks this Saturday. Both series will be competing in 50-lap features along with the Mel Kenyon Midgets.

Ken de la Bastide may be reached at ken.delabastide@kokomotribune.com or 765-454-8580.

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