Exclusive! The Marbles has learned that ABC has decided not to put "Points Swap," a NASCAR reality show very loosely based on "Wife Swap," on the summer schedule. Instead of swapping wives, NASCAR owners would be filmed from their headquarters striking dramatic, 11th-hour deals to sell positions locked in the top 35 for the 2010 season to lesser teams. Thrilling, right?
OK ... I can’t say I blame ABC.
For better or for worse -- more on that angle of the story on Thursday -- points buying has become an accepted practice in NASCAR for teams entering the Daytona 500 and Bob Jenkins buying points from Doug Yates just isn’t as entertaining as a wife from a pacifist hippie family trading places with a moose-huntin’ Sarah Palin wannabe.
So since you won’t have a reality show to explain it to you -- no, there never really was a show called "Points Swap" in development -- here’s your definitive points swapping guide to the 2010 season. Be careful though, this could be a little complicated.
• To meet the NASCAR-mandated four team limit, Jack Roush had to dismantle the #26 team (Jamie McMurray). New England businessman Bill Jenkins, who made his money with cleaning products, bought the assets to the team, which included the owner’s points from the 2009 season. Boris Said is the driver and Frankie Stoddard is the crew chief, though it’s dependent on sponsorship whether or not the team will be able to run more than the first five races. (In which, not so coincidentally, they are guaranteed to start.)
• Furniture Row Racing purchased the owner points from the now-defunct and sponsorless #07 (Casey Mears) from Richard Childress. The deal now makes Childress a nominal owner in Furniture Row Racing, and essentially gives RCR a fourth team after all. Most importantly, the #78, which is attempting to run the full season after running a part time schedule last year, is locked in at Daytona. However, this alliance isn’t incredibly strong, because instead of using Earnhardt-Childress engines, Furniture Row will continue to lease engines from Hendrick.
• This is where it gets fun. As part of the merger between Yates Racing and Richard Petty Motorsports, the #44 team from Richard Petty Motorsports was dissolved, and AJ Allmendinger moved to the #43. Because the #44 finished higher than the #98 did in 2009, Paul Menard will inherit the points from the #44, despite there basically being no changes to that team for 2010.
• Yates Racing had an alliance with Hall of Fame Racing in 2009, but the #96 car will not be returning, leaving the #96 and #98 -- because Menard took the points from the #44 -- owner points vacant. Both cars were guaranteed entry into the Daytona 500, so Front Row Racing owner Bob Jenkins (no relation to the aforementioned Bill) struck a deal with Doug Yates (who held the rights to those owner points despite merging with RPM) to put his two new full time teams in the Daytona 500. And yes, one of those teams is the #37 ExtenZe car, but Kevin Conway sadly isn’t restrictor-plate approved, so he won’t be able to make his full-time Sprint Cup debut until California.
Got all that? Good, because next, we debate whether all this points-swapping is a good idea or not.