Wins worth more as Chase format alters
Winners get 5 extra points; Chase now at 12.
By BRANT JAMES
Published January 23, 2007
CONCORD, N.C. - Advocating a balance between consistency in the regular season and making wins more rewarding, NASCAR announced on Monday a much anticipated tweak of the three-year-old Chase for the Championship format, with a twist.
Beginning this season, drivers will be awarded an extra five points per victory. Now the maximum is 195, for drivers who win and lead the most laps.
After 26 races, the top 12 drivers in points - an increase of two entrants - will qualify for the 10-race Chase and have their point totals reset at 5,000. Each driver will then receive a 10-point bonus for each win and be seeded based on the number of victories. The 400-point cut-off has been eliminated.
Kasey Kahne, who started the Chase 10th last season, would have begun the final 10 races in first place because of his series-leading five wins. Jimmie Johnson would still have won the title, but Tony Stewart, who missed the Chase, would have started fifth and was runnerup by 16 points.
NASCAR CEO Brian France said he thought the Chase format "accomplished its original goals," but "didn't create magical moments."
"We want a wild-card provisional," he said. "We want a driver who is surging at the end to get in."
What would have been
How the Chase for the Championship would have been different had the new points system been used in 2006, with the actual final top 12, new top 12 and adjusted points:
Actual Adjusted Adj. Pts.
1. Jimmie Johnson 1. Jimmie Johnson 6475
2. Matt Kenseth 2. Tony Stewart 6459
3. Denny Hamlin 3. Matt Kenseth 6419
4. Kevin Harvick 4. Kevin Harvick 6397
5. Dale Earnhardt Jr. 5. Denny Hamlin 6397
6. Jeff Gordon 6. Dale Earnhardt Jr. 6313
7. Jeff Burton 7. Jeff Gordon 6266
8. Kasey Kahne 8. Kasey Kahne 6233
9. Mark Martin 9. Jeff Burton 6218
10. Kyle Busch 10. Mark Martin 6148
11. Tony Stewart 11. Greg Biffle 6051
12. Carl Edwards 12. Kyle Busch 6002