The announcement of a change to the distribution of points across NASCAR national series sparked debate among even the most conservative NASCAR fans. One of the explanations behind the change was to develop a more dramatic points battle to increase fan interest.
A debate arose over the fact that a quick calculation would show that very little, if anything, would change in the final championship standings. In fact, even among the more common point distributions across all major racing series, by the end of the season there did not appear to be much of a difference in the order of the final standings.
Here, I shall contend that debate with weekly comparisons across the three most commonly mentioned distributions, plus my own personal points schedule designed to reward both race winners and consistent high finishes.
On the left side of the standings is the difference between where they stand in actual Sprint Cup Standings and their position in the respective system.
Classic Points System – Standings After Race 12
For the most part, the top ten remains relatively unchanged. Carl Edwards continues to have a sizable lead, while the changes in points position after the Coca-Cola 600 mirror their real life counterparts. Perhaps the biggest losers under the old system would be A.J. Allmendinger as he would drop three spots to sixteenth in the standings.
Notable changes in position compared to current system: None really… as we move forward in the season it is becoming apparent that there is little, if any difference, between the two point distributions.
Changes to Chase Field: NONE
F1 System – Standings After Race 12
Edwards retains the the championship lead with a sizable advantage, this time over second place runner Kyle Busch. As the F1 points system rewards higher finishes, specifically those within the Top 3, it becomes apparent that those with the most Top 5s appear near the top of the standings.
Notable Driver without points: Jeff Burton
Notable changes in position compared to current system: Regan Smith (+15), Jeff Gordon (+9), Marcos Ambrose (+8), Tony Stewart (-8), Kurt Busch (-9), A.J. Allmendinger (-9)
Changes to Chase Field: Marcos Ambrose (IN), Regan Smith (IN), Trevor Bayne (IN), Kurt Busch (OUT), Tony Stewart (OUT), Greg Biffle (OUT)
IndyCar System – Standings After Race 12
Carl Edwards again leads the standings over Kyle Busch with yet another sizable margin. The drivers who account for half of the race wins this season easily hold the top three spots in points over fourth place Jimmie Johnson. The Top Five as a whole account for nine of the total twelve race wins from the 2011 season.
Notable changes in position compared to current system: Regan Smith (+9), Jeff Gordon (+8), Kasey Kahne (+6), Greg Biffle (-6), A.J. Allmendinger (-6), Jeff Burton (-8)
Changes to Chase Field: Denny Hamlin (IN), Regan Smith (IN), Tony Stewart (OUT), Greg Biffle (OUT)
Phat’s System – Standings After Race 12
For an explanation of the points distribution, please see consult table below standings. This distribution is designed to reward race winners, while also rewarding those who run well every week.
This time Edward’s lead over Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick is not as insurmountable as in the other systems. There is still a considerable gap from fifth on back as the order of the standings experiences a high amount of shuffling.
Notable changes in position compared to current system: Regan Smith (+9), Jeff Gordon (+7), Kasey Kahne (+7), A.J. Allmendinger (-6), David Reuitmann (-6), Jeff Burton (-9)
Changes to Chase Field: Denny Hamlin (IN), Regan Smith (IN), Ryan Newman (OUT), Greg Biffle (OUT)