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SBD/January 24, 2011/Leagues and Governing Bodies
Helton Indicates NASCAR Nearing Simpler Scoring System
Published January 24, 2011
RACE TO WIN: In Charlotte, Scott Fowler writes, "The new system will be logical and easier to explain." But "simple isn't enough." Fowler: "I’m worried that NASCAR’s new way to keep score still won’t put nearly enough emphasis on winning, in which case the whole idea falls flat once again." Helton "seems sensitive to this issue," and Fowler noted after listening to him speak Friday, "I'm convinced the first-place finisher will undoubtedly get a bonus of some sort." But the winner of each race "better be rewarded far more lavishly than he ever has before" (THATSRACIN.com, 1/21). Driver David Ragan said, "Everyone knows they're going to use that one-through-43 thing. I think all that's left to figure out are the bonus points. I think they want to make winning more important" (FLORIDA TIMES-UNION, 1/22). Meanwhile, former driver and current ESPN analyst Dale Jarrett said that NASCAR "should put more emphasis upon taking the checkered flag and upon rewarding winning drivers monetarily." Jarrett: "There needs to be a bigger premium put on winning. ... The PGA pays almost a million dollars to the winner of an event. I don't see why we can't come somewhat close to that" (USATODAY.com, 1/22).
LACKING EXCITMENT: ESPN.com's David Newton wrote the proposed points system "raises the excitement meter like watching" a test session in the rain. It "promotes consistency over winning more than ever and opens the door for drivers and teams playing it safe more than ever." But it "doesn't fix what ails the sport." It "might be simpler to understand," but "were fans and drivers really confused by the old system?" NASCAR "will tell you it was a primary concern," but, as Jimmie Johnson "reminded us, it won't put fannies in seats and improve television ratings." Johnson: "I don't think it's a huge strategy to engage the fans more from an attendance standpoint or a viewer standpoint" (ESPN.com, 1/21).