So NASCAR is considering a new points system, eh? Wonderful.
AP/Yahoo! Sports' Jenna Fryer is reporting that NASCAR could switch up the points system that's been in place since 1975 in favor of one that's more closely tied to finishing places. In other words, the winner gets 43 points, second place gets 42 points, and on down the line until No. 43, who would get one lousy point.
So how would that have changed the 2010 season? Obviously, given the caveat that drivers would have driven differently had a different system been in place, and taking out the effects of the Chase, Kevin Harvick would have been your winner. Harvick's average finish of 8.7 would have translated to an average points-per-race of 34.3. Throwing out the one-off racers, the rest of the top 10 would have been, in order, Carl Edwards, Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth, Denny Hamlin, Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart, Kyle Busch, Clint Bowyer and Jeff Burton.
Obviously, the new system benefits steady drivers (Harvick, Edwards) rather than those who cruise on the virtue of one or two good finishes (Kurt Busch, Greg Biffle). That helps to address the complaint that the system unnecessarily benefits drivers who run well but don't challenge for the win. It's also a hell of a lot easier to understand than the current model, which gives 175 points to the winner and 34 points to the loser in unequal increments. Still undecided: bonus points for leading laps and winning.
What the new system doesn't do is address the Chase, which has been a point of contention for many longtime fans who see it as a tricked-up gimmick. The NASCAR source told AP that some other tweaks are in consideration for the Chase, specifically those related to qualifying.
While the Chase will thankfully stay at 12 drivers, the slate could include the top 10 drivers, as well as the two non-Chasers who won the most in the season. That would have bounced Clint Bowyer and Jeff Burton, brought in Jamie McMurray, and then forced a tiebreaker between one-win drivers Ryan Newman, David Reutimann and Juan Pablo Montoya.
So there you have it. Thoughts? Complaints? Compliments? Screaming vengeful anger? Have your say in the comments below.