Wednesday, March 28, 2007

A Minor Rant on Points and Provisionals

Some NASCAR journalists and fans believe that giving championship points for winning pole qualifying would be a good idea. It really isn't, because it doesn't make sense under the current qualifying system. First of all, on most tracks on the ciruit, the pole position practically guarantees a five point bonus for leading the first lap, unless there are mechanical problems or the driver's reflexes are slow.
Secondly, bonus points for qualifying in first place would serve no logical purpose. The teams already have the incentive for making the car as fast as possible for qualifying, and the carrot of bonus points won't make the cars any faster. It may result in more reckless qualifying runs, as drivers try to gain bonus points and wreck their cars before the race actually starts. The "have not" teams who are only trying to get into the race would be left out of any chance for any pole position bonus points.
If there is to be any change in qualifying rules, it could be suggested that the top thirty-five provisionals rule be ammended. For instance, rather than carrying the provisional positions from the end of the previous season through the first five races, use the standings only for the first race, the Daytona 500, then apply the new points standings to the next race. The provisional system was added to the mix two years ago, when there were fewer full time teams in the NASCAR Nextel Cup series, and the idea was to reward the full time teams so they would have a starting position in every race. Now that there are more than forty-three teams who are attempting full time participation, the provisional rules are no longer relevant in that sense.
Personally speaking, I was never much of a fan of the thirty-five place provisionals. Being somewhat of a traditionalist, I sincerely believe that the forty-three fastest cars should be in the race. It would be a step in the right direction if the number of qualifying provisionals was reduced, to perhaps the top twenty in points. This would add to the level of competition, in both qualifying and racing, and would still make more sense than points for qualifying.

1 comment:

Racefan57 said...

I'd like to see if that would change things much or if it would still be pretty much the same drivers weekly