All signs are now pointing to NASCAR shaking up the points they use to crown the season champion in all three of their major touring series.
Exactly what those changes will be still aren’t clear, but NASCAR officials gave strong indications Friday that changes are indeed on the horizon. NASCAR president Mike Helton said they are still finalizing the details with teams but the goal of the new system will be simplicity.
“We’re in the middle of conversations, telling competitors where out mind is,” said Helton. “The goal was and has been for several years… to have a simple points system.”
Although Helton wouldn’t disclose the exact makeup of the new system, several sources are saying the system would be based on the number of cars entered in a normal Sprint Cup race, 43 with the winner receiving 43 points down to last place which would be worth one point.
“The goal for some time,” Helton said,” has been to create a points system that is easy to understand, easy to explain, easy to be talked about, but also credible at the end of the season.”
According to Helton the final system has not been finalized.
“We’re close,” Helton said. “And we’re getting a lot of great input from the drivers about the tweaks that would go along with something like that so it’s actually been fun to work on.”
One element that the new system will most likely have are bonus points for winning.
“We can continue enhancing the attention to and the appetite to win with bonus points,” Helton said. “And how we apply those to a basic simple structure to start with. You can also do things with the events themselves, the field that goes into the Chase, the Chase events to continue to encourage and put a high appetite on winning races. The point’s models start off with a simple system but we can accomplish the attention to winning with bonus points and other pieces.”
While Helton seemed to indicate that NASCAR had talked to the drivers about the proposed changes, Kevin Harvick didn’t seem to be among them.
Despite that, Harvick said he had heard of the proposed system and was in favor of it. According to the Richard Childress Racing driver at the end of last season he received a text message from New York Yankees coach Joe Girardi.
“He says, ‘hey man,” Harvick said. “Great year, good job; I don’t understand how you can have the best year and not win. I don’t understand your point system.’”
“I think if you look and the new point system,” Harvick added. ‘I think it’s easy to understand. And those are the people that need to understand it; the people who aren’t here every week, live it breathe it and really understand how the sport works. It’s the causal fan that we need to recapture and make it exciting and rally understandable. So however the point system works out, I want it easy to understand for those types of people.”
The official announcement from NASCAR is expected next Wednesday during the NASCAR Media Tour as part of their annual ‘State of the Sport’ address.