Thursday, September 9, 2010

Leave the Chase alone, please

There’s lots of attention on this season’s Chase for the Sprint Cup with it set to start at New Hampshire.

What we haven’t heard a lot about lately is next season’s Chase and the “tweaks” NASCAR has said it was considering to alter the format.

That’s a good thing.

The worst thing NASCAR can do for the Chase right now is change it yet again (They could always eliminate it, but I don't hold out hope).

The more changes, the more “tweaks,” the more expansion and retraction of the Chase field that is incorporated with new rules to create more drama, the more the Chase becomes just that: artificial drama.

NASCAR Chairman Brian France has talked about trying to create “Game Seven” moments, like in a World Series. The point forgotten, however, is every World Series doesn’t go seven games. And the reason those series that do go seven games are remembered the most is because they don’t happen very often.

Although NASCAR said it may not make any changes, it is becoming increasingly clear the Chase is headed into some sort of “elimination” format, where the original field of drivers is expanded but two to three times in the final 10 races a certain number of drivers are eliminated from contention.

I hardly see the point of expanding the field only to kick those same people out a few races later. Since the Chase started in 2004, no driver seeded worse than third when it started has won it. That means for all the “drama” around the drivers who squeak into the Chase, little is heard from them after it starts.

And any “winner takes all” format where two or more drivers are left battling for the title in the season’s final race at Homestead, Fla., does little to recognize the winner for a great season of competition.

It will, however, certainly make that driver the champion of Homestead. Unfortunately, the Cup series only visits there once a season.

So what exactly, have you won?


  1. Dump the chase give give more points for winning then top ten finishes

  2. When the Chase begins, that's when I stop watching NASCAR. If 43 drivers start each race each week, then 43 drivers should have equal chances to race the ENTIRE season for the championship instead of showcasing 12 drivers for the final 10 weeks of the season.

  3. Please include me in the group of fans, the majority it seems, that wishes the chase was just scrapped altogether. It has failed, the fans don't like it, and Brian France needs to realize that.

    When the announcers start talking about nothing but the points and the chase, ans not the RACE I am trying to watch, that's when I watch football instead. I love NASCAR, but the chase, in all its contrived silliness, just pisses me off to no end.

  4. I guess everyone has forgotten the reason for a points system.....The Racing season, championship drive, and the eventual champion is determined by how they perform for 36 races. Not 10 races, not resetting points, not eliminating some or most every few races.

    It's high time 42 other race teams & drivers pick themselves up and START racing for 36 races when the green flag drops at the Daytona 500!!!!!

  5. What NASCAR needs to do is contract, like everyo other business in the world has done in this economy. Why does the field have to be 43, especially since there are always at least 4-5 "start and park" cars every week? Cut the starting field to 36.

    They currently race at 23 tracks. Give each track exactly ONE date, and add 2 more tracks, such as Milwaukee and St. Louis. That gives you 25 "regular season" races. Cut the Chase to 5 races - at Charlotte, Indianapolis, Bristol, Daytona and one other track (that can be debated), with Daytona being the finale.

    In each race, there should be no points awarded for finishing outside the top 25. Award 1 point for 25th, 2 pts for 24th, up to 15 pts for 11th. Award 25 pts for 10th, up to 29 for 6th. Award 50 pts for 5th, 55 for 4th, 75 for 3rd, 80 for 2nd, and 100 for winning. Kill the bonus pts for leading a lap, keep the 5 for leading the most laps. Keep the Chase field at 12.

  6. J is wrong. NASCAR doesn't need to contract, though it does need a spending cap on its teams.

    The starting field needs to be expanded beyond 43 cars. Don't give me this whine about start-and-park cars - what they need is a better economic system in the sport, not the brush-off.

    Why on earth is there support for making Daytona the season finale? It does not belong there; it belongs in July.

    They race at 23 tracks and almost all of them deserve two dates - the ones that don't are the short tracks, bad racetracks in mixed-bag racing demographics (Bristol and Richmond are good racing demographics, Martinsville is not).

    The Chase concept is a failure and needs to be dropped. Keep the Latford Point System but increase race winner points to 300 and increase most laps led points to 100 - 300 for the win, 175 for second, etc.; 5 for leading a lap, 100 for most laps led. This makes the championship directly require most wins and most laps led.