The new point system combined with the Chase could be hurting NASCAR

Carl Edwards, driver of the #99 Roush Fenway Racing Ford, sits in his car during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Capital City 400 at Richmond International Raceway on April 27, 2012 in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Carl Edwards, driver of the #99 Roush Fenway Racing Ford, sits in his car during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Capital City 400 at Richmond International Raceway on April 27, 2012 in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for NASCAR)

With nearly one quarter of the NASCAR season gone, the complaints seem to be as loud as the cheering from NASCAR fans when the command to start engines is given.  The lack of cautions combined with very little passing on the track has elicited some yawns and left some scratching their heads.  One track, Bristol Motor Speedway has even reacted to the empty seats and lack of passing at their track by changing parts of the track surface to change the racing.

What is really happening though? Why has there been less passing, fewer cautions and lap after lap of single file racing? Perhaps it’s the very way NASCAR now does business.

Last season NASCAR abandoned the old way it used to determine a champion. The sport threw out the old Latford system. It was a points system invented by former NASCAR PR rep Bob Latford and put in place in 1975. Under the system drivers could find themselves thousands of points ahead of their nearest rival and locking up the season championship long before seasons end. In 2004, NASCAR instituted the season ending Chase; a ten race playoff format where the top 10, later 12, drivers had their points reset and given a ten point bonus for race wins. The Chase has been tweaked, a wild card added, and last season the Latford point system was replaced. MORE>>>

About Greg Engle 7420 Articles
Greg is a published award winning sportswriter who spent 23 years combined active and active reserve military service, much of that in and around the Special Operations community. Greg is the author of "The Nuts and Bolts of NASCAR: The Definitive Viewers' Guide to Big-Time Stock Car Auto Racing" and has been published in major publications across the country including the Los Angeles Times, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was also a contributor to Chicken Soup for the NASCAR Soul, published in 2010, and the Christmas edition in 2016. He wrote as the NASCAR, Formula 1, Auto Reviews and National Veterans Affairs Examiner for Examiner.com and has appeared on Fox News. He holds a BS degree in communications, a Masters degree in psychology and is currently a PhD candidate majoring in psychology. He is currently the weekend Motorsports Editor for Autoweek.