NASCAR Sprint Cup Strategies

Points Racing? or Racing For Wins? What's the mark of a True Champion?

8/9/09 in NASCAR   |   Debi_L   |   11287 respect

Our Sunday race was rained out today, but that got me thinking, especially with all the interviews during the rain delay.  Juan Pablo Montoya has openly stated that he is racing smart, not trying to win every race, rather racing for points and consistency.  And of course, Kyle Busch races to win each and every race, balls to the wall.

But which is better?

Matt Kenseth won a Championship racing for points and earning the nickname "the Robot".  He seemed so consistent, so machinelike in his ability to finish races, even though he didn't win them. 

JPM, of course, is solidly in the Chase at 8th, while Kyle is just outside, 101 points out of 12th.  Kyle and Jimmie Johnson, who sits in 2nd, both have 3 wins this year, and only Mark Martin has more, with 4.  However, both Mark and Kyle have struggled when not in Victory Lane.  Mark has 3 DNF's to go along with his 4 wins, while Kyle has 2.

At the other end, we have the likes of Juan Pablo, Carl Edwards, Ryan Newman and Greg Biffle, each with no wins yet in the season, but ll of whom are in the Chase, and only Biffle has more than one DNF.  The top tens show an even better story, as not one of the drivers in the Chase has less thank 8.  Matt Kenseth is the only driver with 8, as a matter of fact, and when paired with his two wins early on, he is happily, if not comfortably, in the Chase.  

Of course, Mark Martin has been in the Championship Chase many times, and many times he has been just that close.  He has been consistent, but never a Champion.  In1990, he lost the Championship to Dale Earnhardt by 24 points, the result of a 25 point  penalty early in the season.  That year, he racked up 3 wins and 23 top tens, while the Intimidator had an astounding 9 wins, but the same 23 top tens.  Mark, however, was more consistent in the other races and would have won that Championship, if not for the penalty.

Once the Chase actually begins, those drivers with wins will benefit the most, with the extra points awarded for the wins.  I've said before I don't agree with those points being awarded after the Chase begins, believing the winning driver should receive a bonus upon taking the Checkers.

Of course, we'll have to wait to see how it all shakes out, but at this point, even though Mark is tenth in points, he will jump ahead of at least three others when the Chase begins.  That will likely change as we finish up the race to the Chase, but it brings into question the "racing for points" plan.  If Tony Stewart, Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon continue with their version of "smart racing" it's unlikely anyone will be able to mount much of a challenge.

So my question to you is, what's smarter?  Racing for points? or Racing to win? 

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8/13/09   |   PJ88Fan   |   468 respect

(Edited by PJ88Fan)

I thought I might as well add my 2 cents in too. I say dump the Chase. Nascar was around long before someone had this brainstorm and did just fine. It was all based on wins and points. Take Nascar back to the way it outta be...racing. Send Mike Helton far, far away. These guys have always driven hard. I f someone gets overly aggressive, penalize them and if it causes a major wreck, they're out of the race. What's so hard about that? Most of the drivers would get the message when their points tally starts to drop. Ok, so we have a couple that will still roll the way they want. I'm even gonna be nice and not mention any names..*Bites tongue*  Just overhaul the way it works if they're gonna keep it. If the fans can figure out ways to improve it, why can't Nascar? You win a race, you get the extra points. Sounds pretty simple to me.  There's my humble opinion.   

8/13/09   |   Debi_L   |   11287 respect

wrote:
GREAT debate going on here - I just wish that I had the answer.  25 instant points at the time of the win sounds pretty good to me. 

LOL If you had the answer you'd be a milliionaire, instead of just a loyal NASCAR fan. 

I don't know that anyone has an answer, because if, as shagnasty says and I agree, we start awarding more points for a win, there will be more crashes heading to the checkers with drivers taking more chances to get those points.  Then we have another quandry, better racing or safer racing? 

LMAO I could truthfully go on forever, and likely will

8/12/09   |   Debi_L   |   11287 respect

ShagNasty wrote:
Thats what makes NASCAR different from other sports.  There aren't 43 teams in one stadium trying to win one baseball game.  Drivers should focus on a good finish.  Until a win pays out more or gets more than 10 extra points there is no reason to use up the equipment. 

If a win netted you 50 bonus points I bet you'd see some guys trying some gutsy stuff to get to the front.  Especially the teams who are just outside the Chase and need the points to get in. 

Exactly why I am a supporter of more points to the winner.  I've been saying it for years - the winner should get a minimum of 25 additional points for a win - at thet time of the win!

8/12/09   |   ShagNasty

Thats what makes NASCAR different from other sports.  There aren't 43 teams in one stadium trying to win one baseball game.  Drivers should focus on a good finish.  Until a win pays out more or gets more than 10 extra points there is no reason to use up the equipment. 

If a win netted you 50 bonus points I bet you'd see some guys trying some gutsy stuff to get to the front.  Especially the teams who are just outside the Chase and need the points to get in. 

8/11/09   |   lonetitan68

Raven73 wrote:
NASCAR has made "points" the issue, the prize, the all in all. What's a driver to do? Race or seek sponsors/TV time? HA! That is the thing of NASCAR days gone by (as in bye bye). Of course if a racer races to win and does so, the points stack up. No commentary on any specific race car driver here as I believe they all have agendas that have nothing to do with true RACING. Seriously, think for a minute how these guys now a days get pissy when someone actually pulls along side of them to "race".

making the best of the Best as driver and the teamate to be of a true Champion. meant they worked too hard and wanted for the Champion.

8/9/09   |   CMB   |   2019 respect

They should overall the whole point system.  It might sound ridiculous, but it would be interesting to see NASCAR award points for EACH lap led.  Too often a driver will just pull over and let the 2nd place driver go by and then they follow each other for 50 laps just to be safe.  I think there would be so much more competition for the win week after week and it would be much more exciting.  Ridiculous, but it would definitely add to the excitement.

Also, there needs to be huge "points earned" difference between each of the drivers that finish in the top 10 of a race.  Something like a range of 50-100 points difference for each position in the top 10 would lead to better competition also.  Make the drivers earn their points, don't allow them to just drive conservatively and settle for a decent finish.  These things will never happen, and might be far out there, but I would be really interested in seeing what it would do for the competition on the track.

8/9/09   |   Debi_L   |   11287 respect

The Chase this year is full of surprises, that's for sure.  Who'd a thunk there would be no RCR in the top ten, let alone the top 12.  I think Kevin has only had one top ten finish this year. 

8/9/09   |   trisha8888   |   3 respect

wreckers or checkers

8/9/09   |   trisha8888   |   3 respect

i personally feel if youre not there to win you should not be there that being said it doesnt matter how many a person like kyle busch wins he will never be satisfied

8/9/09   |   Debi_L   |   11287 respect

Raven73 wrote:
NASCAR has made "points" the issue, the prize, the all in all. What's a driver to do? Race or seek sponsors/TV time? HA! That is the thing of NASCAR days gone by (as in bye bye). Of course if a racer races to win and does so, the points stack up. No commentary on any specific race car driver here as I believe they all have agendas that have nothing to do with true RACING. Seriously, think for a minute how these guys now a days get pissy when someone actually pulls along side of them to "race".

EXACTLY Rheda, We've all heard Jeff, Carl and others complain because so-and-so is actually trying to keep him from passing him!!!! God Forbid!!   The Chase supposedly came into being because of Matt's Championship, and yet here we are a few years later, and it's all really still working the same way.

8/9/09   |   Raven73   |   103 respect

NASCAR has made "points" the issue, the prize, the all in all. What's a driver to do? Race or seek sponsors/TV time? HA! That is the thing of NASCAR days gone by (as in bye bye). Of course if a racer races to win and does so, the points stack up. No commentary on any specific race car driver here as I believe they all have agendas that have nothing to do with true RACING. Seriously, think for a minute how these guys now a days get pissy when someone actually pulls along side of them to "race".

8/9/09   |   bwfc2good4u   |   327 respect

I honestly don't think 10 points i enough to justify racing for checkers or wreckers so to speak...Kyle races like that and it's got him out of the chase because there aren't too many others who have that style.If more bonus points were awarded it might help promote racing for wins, and the likes of Juan Pablo might go for wins every week rather than looking for top 10's. The format at the moment is great but the points need to change