Jan 27 2011

New Points System, No Catch-can Man, Chase Change

Along with the pick a series rule change we posted about the other day, Nascar has announced some more changes, including the rumored new points system.

First off, they are making a change to the Chase for the Cup, the top ten drivers by points after the 26th race will continue to be in the chase, but position 11 and 12 will now go to the top two race winners in the top 20 points positions, so actually, the ones who win the most races in points positions 11-20. The top 10 chase drivers will still be seeded according to wins, while the 11th and 12th place chasers will stay in those positions. I think this is a good change; it will make it possible for someone who gets hot late to win several races and make the chase even if they were not in the top 12 in points.

They have simplified the points system for all of us loyal idiots I guess. Cup race winners will earn 43 points for the win, three bonus points for the victory and will earn at least 1 point for leading a lap. You can also get 1 point for leading the most laps, bringing the total possible maximum for a win to 48 points. All of the other drivers in finishing order will be separated by one-point increments, thus, the second-place finisher will earn 42 points, a third-place driver 41 points, up to the last place finisher who will earn 1 point. This will certainly make it easier to figure out, it will be interesting to see how it really affects the championship points this next season, and I am sure many will apply the previous rules to see if their driver would have fared differently under the older systems.

The qualifying order will now be set based upon slowest-to-fastest practice speeds. If bad weather cancels qualifying, the final starting lineup will be determined by practice speeds. The same rule book procedures will be used to determine eligibility to start a race. If weather cancels practice sessions, then the starting lineup will be set by points, per the rule book.

Cup teams now are allowed only five sets of tires for practice and qualifying instead of the six they were allowed to have and they must return four of those sets to Goodyear in order to get their race tires, and they may keep only one set of practice/qualifying tires.

The Cup series will be using the Closed Loop Fueling System that was introduced in the Truck Series, it combines a more efficient fueling system with the elimination of the catch-can man, teams will now use six, rather than seven, over-the-wall pit-crew members.

They are also continuing to change the look of the COT, trying to make it more appealing to the fans that think it should look like the actual manufacturer vehicle.

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