Friday, October 30, 2009

Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon Would Lead F1 Points Standings in NASCAR

Following up on our previous post considering what the NASCAR standings would look like if they used a Formula 1 point system, we have a very interesting table:

You can click on the image for a larger version of the table.

What I find fascinating here is seeing Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon tied atop these standings. This is certainly much closer than the current Sprint Cup standings. And this point system doesn't need a "chase reset" to bring everybody back together.

The last time we looked, Tony Stewart and Mark Martin were the top two in this system, but after a string of good runs recently, Johnson and Gordon have taken over the top stop. Previously, Johnson was in 4th place, 10 points behind Stewart. Now he is 4 points ahead of Stewart, due to his current hot streak.

In this system, anybody within 40 points of the leader is within reach of the title. If they score 4 straight wins, they'll get 40 points. So the entire top five, including Denny Hamlin, would still have a shot at the title.

The good thing about this system is it doesn't punish you that much for a bad race. Getting 43rd is no different than getting 23rd. It allows you a chance throughout the season as long as you have the ability to run up front.

I think this system would result in more competitive driving up front, which would give the fans the type of aggressive and strong racing they really want to see. Everybody needs to race to the front.

Right now, the only way Johnson isn't going to win the title (in real points) is if he wrecks. There really isn't any way to catch up to him as long as he keeps getting top 10s.

In the F1 system, top 10s don't really get it done. Johnson couldn't just "take it easy" the rest of the year and coast to a victory. In fact, he'd only be tied right now, so he'd still have no choice but to race hard.

I know with a 43-driver field, having points go to the top 8 might be a bit too extreme. But if we only gave points to the top 15 drivers? That might be a fair compromise. Anything 16th or worse is worth 1 point, so at least you get credit for qualifying and competing. Maybe even say DNFs get 0 points, so there is some encouragement to stay out there and race, which might be a compromise with NASCAR's current system of being so focused on "consistency" rather than racing up front.

And the good news would be you wouldn't need a Chase to reset the points just to bring everybody back together again.

The concept of the Chase to reset all the points together is the same as having a "phantom debris caution" late in a race to bring all the drivers back together again to make it a close race again. But with a better points system, we wouldn't need that.

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