Nascar has seen their television ratings decline in recent years as well as fan attendance drop. In an effort to bring viewers back to their TV sets and people back to the stands the governing body of stock car racing is making changes to their format in 2011.
Brian France the Chairman and CEO of Nascar announced changes to the points system and who will qualify for the Chase for the Championship at the annual Nascar Media Tour. Speaking at the Nascar Hall of Fame, France confirmed what had been rumored for weeks that the points system would be simplified.
In a field of 43 cars on the Sprint Cup Series, the winner will get 43 points and it will decrease by one for each position all the way down to 1 point for finishing last. This change is an effort to make things easier for fans to understand as well as allow announcers to explain things in an easier fashion.
There will still be bonus points under the new system just like the old, but the amounts have changed. A driver will earn three bonus points for the win and an additional point for leading a lap. The driver leading the most laps can also earn another bonus point, meaning the most points a driver can earn in a single race is 48. The point system change will apply to all three levels of Nascar racing.
The change to the Chase format has the top ten drivers in the point standings qualifying for the final ten races that will determine the Sprint Cup Champion. There will also be two wild-card entries. Those spots will go to the two drivers that have the most wins that are not in the top 10 of the point standings but are in the top 20.
The Sprint Cup Series first point race is the Daytona 500 on February 20th.