NASCAR Considers Getting Rid of the Top 35 Rule: Fan View

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NASCAR Considers Getting Rid of the Top 35 Rule: Fan View
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2011 NASCAR Gatorade Duel

Fans have been hoping that NASCAR would finally eliminate the top 35 rule that allows the top 35 cars to avoid qualifying for a race in the Sprint Cup Series, and their wishes may be answered soon. NASCAR has been considering the removal of the top 35 rule for several months, so there is a strong chance it may be gone in 2013.

Top 35 Rule Rumors

The initial rumors about the possibility of the top 35 rule disappearing from NASCAR began in the summer of 2012. In July, several sources confirmed the reports because Robin Pemberton revealed that there were conversations with teams about the rule. NASCAR seems to have finally realized that most fans have hated the top 35 rule since it was instituted.

Although NASCAR has not officially announced the change, Robin Pemberton has shared that the topic continues to be discussed with the teams. He explained, "We're getting some pretty good feedback from the teams." It appears that the teams may actually be on the fans' side and want to see the top 35 rule eliminated.

Alternatives

If the top 35 rule disappears from NASCAR in 2013, there are alternatives that are likely to take its place. The most popular option seems to be to force the entire field to qualify for a race and ignore the rankings. This would create a more competitive environment. Another plan appeared in July 2012 to allow "the top 38 cars [to] get in on speed with one past champions provisional and four provisionals for the top four drivers in points that didn't make it on speed." There have been several variations of this plan with sources citing 37 or 36 cars.

The top 35 rule has been a source of controversy since it was introduced in 2005. Although NASCAR presented the concept as beneficial to the teams and sponsors, it no longer seems necessary. Fans have often found that the rule helps teams with more funding because they can purchase owner points. The results of the rules have also created a dislike among fans who view them as detrimental to increasing interest in the sport.

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Growing up in Indiana, Lana developed a love for motorsports at an early age. She follows NASCAR, IndyCar and Formula One. Follow @Lana_Bandoim on Twitter.

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