Welcome to the second installment of our new series, ‘Ask the Crew Chief.’ This question was submitted by Jerry Smith, “A lot of people say that Jimmie Johnson won five championships because of the Sprint Cup Point System. What do you think of the Points Systems, past and present? Can a point system favor any one driver?”
This is an interesting question. I’m going to start off with the past point system. How many people (who didn’t work in/for NASCAR) were able to figure out after a race what position in the point standings their driver(s) was in? Not many. I always would just wait until the standings were posted on NASCAR.com, to save myself time and frustration. In my opinion, I didn’t like this form of the point system. Why? Like I said before, it was confusing. It put more emphasis on having a good day than winning. If I had a dime for every time last year a driver on a post-race interview said “…our car was good, we ran well, it was a good points day…” I would have a heck of a lot of money right now. So, I obviously wasn’t a fan of the old points system.
I anxiously awaited the day when they would announce the new setup for the points standings for the 2011 Season, and was happy with what I heard. As most of you know, the winner receives forty-three points, second place receives forty-two points and so on and so forth until they reach one point for finishing forty-third. One bonus point is also awarded to the winner and the driver who lead the most laps. For me, this is so much easier to figure out! When my driver finishes third, I know he receives forty points, then I just add it to the previous week’s points and we’re good to go.
Do I think a point system can favor a driver? This is the part where people may agree or disagree with me. Under the point system from last year, no one knew how many points a driver got for winning, or leading a lap, or finishing dead last, so it was a mystery for us if the person leading the points was really the person who it should’ve been. This year, the fans are able to calculate the points, so we know if something is messed up. (Anti-Jimmie fans please don’t be offended) I don’t think Jimmie won the five championships because the point system favored him, Jimmie proved he has the pure talent of racing a stock car.
This was my opinion on the point systems past and present. I hope no one was offended. I can’t wait to answer more questions next week!