NASCAR's New System Benefits the Weak
NASCAR changed their point system in the offseason to further add to the excitement of the points system as well as make wins even more important. However, in doing so, they have made the points system favor those that are capable of performing well at one type of track.
The original way to win a championship in NASCAR was to run well all season long and pick up as many points as possible. In the infinite wisdom of NASCAR, they decided that this took away from the sport because too often someone was running away with the points lead with several races to go. The general premise behind changing to the 10 race playoff system was not a bad one. However, making it the same 10 races every year is shortsighted in that it benefits those that perform well in those final ten.
The new change in the system to make it where winning a single race can get you into the chase is neither a welcome nor needed change. There should be benefit to performing well all year long not just winning one race. As it stands today, Kurt Busch would be part of the Chase with just one win and having the 27th most points. Last year, both Tony Stewart and David Ragan had wins while finishing 29th and 28th in points respectively. Both of these men would have been in the Chase last year while not deserving to do so with poor overall seasons. This year, only Busch sits in a position to do so at the moment but there are still 11 more races for another to jump up and do so.
Winning races is part of the fabric of NASCAR. It is important to the drivers, the tracks, the business of NASCAR and track owners. However, in the history of the NASCAR series championship, there has never been a winner who hasn't won a race. In fact, only five times has there been a winner with only one win. Putting the emphasis on winning could have been done in a different way that didn't take away from the competitiveness of the sport.
The switch to put more of an emphasis on winning should have been handled with additional points for win. It should not have been handled by creating a confusing points system that puts an emphasis solely on winning and not the overall effort of a season.
If the Chase were to start today, Jeff Gordon, the points leader, would start with the same number of points as Kurt Busch, 27th in the standings. Emphasizing going for the win is not a bad thing, but it is when it hurts the competition of your sport.