Brian France says he wants to "tweak" the Chase for the Nextel Cup. There's been speculation that he might just move some races around to put more variety in the final ten races, or add more drivers, or change the points system during the Chase. Hmmm...
- MOVE RACES AROUND: Good.
They shouldn't have FIVE of the final ten tracks be so similar (1.5-ish mile Roush specials). Why in the heck does Kansas (a brand-new track on the circuit) have a race in the Chase when they SHOULD be at Bristol during the Chase, IMO, and if they are going to have the final race at Homestead, they ought to swap either the Atlanta or Texas race (or both) with a Michigan or California and a road course. I also wouldn't be opposed to them rotating the races they use, so maybe they swap Dover and Darlington every year or something like that. They don't play the majors (except for the Masters) in golf at the same place every year, so why don't they change the NASCAR schedule so all of the tracks can be in the Chase?
- ADD MORE DRIVERS: Bad.
I wasn't really a fan of the Chase concept, but part of the drama I've grown to like is the Race for the Chase, with the guys cramming for tenth-place over the final couple of races. It gives those guys some real attention, more than they'd have under the old non-Chase system, which is good, even if the guys who ultimately miss the Chase fall off the map. So Jeff Gordon and Dale Jr. missed last year's Chase? Life went on.
CHANGE THE POINTS SYSTEM: Good and bad.
I kind of hope they don't mess with the points because it would be a disservice to That Punk Kurt Busch and Tony Stewart for their last couple of titles, I think. OTOH, if they want to reward winning a bit more, I'm all for that. I REALLY think they need to take a look at how they handle their points overall, because the last couple of years we've seen how the Chase is a double-edged sword.
2004: Five drivers go into the final race with a chance to win the Cup, with three drivers very close at the top. That Punk Kurt Busch wins by eight points. 2005: Tony Stewart has a 100-point (or so) lead after nine Chase races, rides around, finishes around twentieth, and wins the Cup, which is essentially the type of finish they were hoping to eliminate with the Chase, but Tony only had one REALLY bad finish during the Chase while the others all had two or more. 2006: Jimmie Johnson and Matt Kenseth COULD be headed for a historic two-man fight for the title, with only eight points separating them after 17 races. Unfortunately, they are well-locked into their top two spots in the Chase, so there's no real reason for them to fight TOO hard to improve their positions.
I've posted this before, but I think it bears repeating: they should REALLY consider going to a Formula One-style points system, where the top X finishers score points and the other guys score zero. I don't really like what you get if you compare these three drivers:
A - 2006 - two wins, nine top-8s B - 2006 - four wins, nine top-8s C - 2006 - one win, six top-8s
Driver A is Tony Stewart, B is Kasey Kahne, and C is Dale Jr. To be fair, all four guys have the same number of top-12 finishes (11), but Tony and Kasey have MUCH more impressive results than Junior (Tony has six top-3 finishes to Junior's three), but Junior actually has MORE points than the other two guys, and here's why:
That's 277 points for Junior, 205 for Kasey, and 191 for Tony in their worst three races. Top guys usually finish down in the low 30s and 40s due to bad luck, and it’s always struck me as disingenuous that, like in these examples, guys can be better for 14 out of the 17 races but their worst three even it out, and there’s a disproportionate reward for winning compared to the punishment for blowing up or getting caught in a “big one”.
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You (and everyone else) better root for Jeffie-boy and Junior - cause if they don't get in, the Chase will be 15 drivers next year for sure. Those are the perceived money players right now.
I'd be for 25 points for 1st, 20 for second, 10 for 3rd and down 3 pts for every position after that - keeps the existing scoring system, but rewards top 3 a lot more than now. I think Formula 1 is very boring and part of that reason is that late in the seson, many teams more or less give up.
I agree with Bristol, not with Road courses, unless we add more to the schedule in general. If there were 5 - OK. But moving them around will be tricky scheduling.
But ten races, right? 1 Plate, three superspeedways like Tejas, California, Dover, NHS, michigan, Atlanta or Miami (fast, but not plate). three short tracks (and Bristol should be one of them) and three cookie cutters.
If I was running it, we'd combine Busch and Cup, run two races every weekend for 25 weeks and no one could eneter more than 25 of them. Different venues for each set of races.
Then the last 10 weeks, everyone starts even and the top 40 racers and three fan-voted all stars race for the cup.
That'd be fun.
(edited by AWArulz on 7.7.06 1102) We'll be back right after order has been restored here in the Omni Center.
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