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Chase ‘Wild Cards;’ New Points System Announced

[1]NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France announced that the sanctioning body has added a wild card element to setting the Chase for the Sprint Cup field and it has simplified its points system for 2011, making it easier for fans, competitors and the industry to understand.

The Chase will still consist of 12 drivers, under the new format. But, only the top 10 is determined by the drivers points standings. The final two spots are determined by the number of wins in the first 26 races.

Those two spots will go to non-top-10-ranked drivers with the most wins inside of the top 20 in points. They will not be given bonus points for wins and will be seeded 11th and 12th, respectively. This is done to ensure that consistency and winning are rewarded for those in the top 10.

France said:

The fans tell us that winning matters the most with them, so we’re combining the tradition of consistency in our sport with the excitement that comes along with winning. This makes every race count leading into the 26th race of the season at Richmond, when we set the field for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.

France also unveiled a new points system for all NASCAR national series. Under the new system, points will be awarded in one-point increments. In the Sprint Cup Series, for example, race winners will earn 43 points, plus three bonus points for the win. Winners also can earn an extra point for leading a lap and leading the most laps, bringing their total to a possible maximum of 48 points.

All others will be awarded points in one-point increments down to one point for finishing 43rd. In the Camping World Truck Series, the last-place finisher will receive eight points to account for the 36-truck field.

France said:

Many of our most loyal fans don’t fully understand the points system we have used to date. So, we are simplifying the points system to one that is much easier to understand. Conceptually, it is comparable to our previous system, but it is easier to follow. 

Also, other competition changes were announced:

Update: Jayski [2] added some other notes about the new scoring system: