Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Tweaking the Chase

As you can tell, I’m an ardent hater of the Chase for the Cup. But it’s not fair to rail against a botched system without proposing an alternative. Besides scrapping the entire format and going back to the original points system, here’s my suggestion on how to improve the Chase.

First, cut the championship contenders down to 10 (instead of 12) after the first 26 races. Also, give a driver 20 bonus points in the Chase for each win during the regular season. There should be other incentives to award consistence, as well, which is not happening now. Each top-5 should garner 10 bonus points for the Chase and a top-10 should bring five bonus points. NASCAR could offer another 5 bonus points for each pole if it wanted to put an emphasis on qualifying. Given this scenario, this is how the field would look if the Chase began today.

1. Kyle Busch - Leader
2. Carl Edwards – 80
3. Dale Earnhardt – 115
3. Denny Hamlin – 115
5. Jeff Burton – 120
6. Kasey Kahne – 125
7. Jimmie Johnson – 135
7. Jeff Gordon – 135
9. Greg Biffle – 145
10. Kevin Harvick – 185

I’m not saying this format is perfect, but it would give drivers more of an incentive to race for top-5 or top-10 finishes rather than just for wins. Of course, I won’t hold my breath for any changes in the near future. Instead, it seems we'll be stuck with 26 meaningless races until the real fun begins.

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