In the off-season, NASCAR announced a change to the points system . The driver who won the race would get 43 points plus three bonus points for the win. All others are awarded points in one-point increments down to one point for finishing 43rd. Drivers who lead a lap receive one bonus point. The driver who leads the most laps gets another point.
In the Chase for the Sprint Cup, the top 10 drivers in points leaving Richmond International Raceway in September make the Chase. Chase positions 11th and 12th will be wild cards. Wild cards are the two drivers inside of the top 20 in points with the most wins. If there are no drivers with victories in those positions, the final Chase poisitions will be determined by points.
Also, NASCAR announced in the off-season that drivers must specify the national series  — Sprint Cup, Nationwide, or Camping World Truck – in which they would like to compete for the championship.
NASCAR wanted to make the championship race closer and more exciting. As we can see, the new points system is doing its job for the Sprint Cup series. The race for the championship is tight, making it as exciting as ever. It is likelt to make for an awesome show at Richmond this fall. It puts an extreme emphasis on winning rather than just top fives and top tens.
With the Nationwide Series, the new system ensures that Sprint Cup drivers can’t take the championship away from Nationwide regulars, no matter how many races Cup regulars win. It will be nice to see an Nwide driver win the championship at the end of the year.
But, there is a chance that a Nationwide driver could win this championship without winning a race. Is that good for the sport from a Nationwide Series perspective? In my opinion, no.
NASCAR thinks that if Cup drivers aren’t in the field for Nationwide races, fans wouldn’t be interested in attending or watching. That’s where I think they are wrong. All NASCAR fans want to see is good racing. It doesn’t matter who is doing the racing, they just want to see some door-to-door action. Fans are bored with seeing Cup drivers like Kyle Busch of Carl Edwards winning all of the Nationwide races.
If NASCAR limited how many Cup drivers are allowed to race in the Nationwide Series, I believe it would bring back some excitement to the series. We would see drivers like Ricky Stenhouse Jr and Justin Allgaier racing neck-and-neck for the win on the last lap, rather than seeing the same Cup drivers contending for the win week in and week out.
That would give the Nationwide drivers back a name and add more heart and soul to the races. It would give NASCAR fans something to be excited about.
My solution? I think if a Sprint Cup driver has raced competitively at the Cup level for two years or more, they should not be allowed to race more than five Nationwide races a year. Drivers that moved down from the Cup level to the Nationwide level (ie: Elliott Sadler) would be able to race the entire Nationwide season. This would give the Nationwide drivers back their series, and give them a chance to add wins to their resume.
This will probably never happen, but it was something lingering in my mind that I needed to get off my chest. Your thoughts?