What is the biggest complaint track owners hear in the southeast from their fans? Besides your show took too long, it is I’m tired of seeing “Follow the Leader” racing.
In the Southeast region of the United States most tracks start their fields by qualifying, they start the fastest car on the pole and so on down the line. When doing this, fans feel that it doesn’t create enough passing and makes for a boring show.
Promoters on the other hand catch heck from the drivers if they make them start further back then where they qualified. They say inverting the field causes wrecks, I say drivers cause wrecks, but that’s another story in itself. The other reason is drivers that are running for a National Championship feel they have a better chance of gaining points if they start up front. This brings me to the heart of this article.
About two years ago, I presented an idea to help promoters take the responsibility of inverting their fields away from them and putting it in the hands of NASCAR (if your track is NASCAR sanctioned). I called the powers to be at NASCAR and explained my idea (after talking to track promoters) that I felt would entice drivers to start further back in the field to gain more points. Unfortunately they felt it was too complicated and would open the door for cheating. I didn’t understand where they felt it was too complicated and open the door for cheating, it couldn’t be any different then start and parks that go on today.
My idea was to give the same amount of points for their finishing position, (1st-24, 2nd – 23, 3rd – 22, etc.) then give them an extra point for every position they improve from their starting position.
For example a driver starts on the pole and wins, they would get 24 points. A driver that started fifth and wins would get the 24 points for finishing first then 4 bonus points for improving their position from where they started by four positions for a total of 29 points.
Another example would be if a driver decided to start last or 24th. They finished fifth they would receive 20 points for where they finished and 19 bonus points for positions they improved for a total of 39 points.
As you can see this would challenge drivers to start further back in the field and pass as many cars as they can to get a higher total number of points. This in turn takes the pressure off of the promoters to invert the fields. It will create more passing as the faster cars come through the field and will make it equal for other drivers around the country that race at tracks that use a handicap system for their weekly line up.
With most tracks using the cone system for restarts, it wouldn’t be hard for a driver to start in the rear and move to the front quickly.
I don’t see where keeping track of the points would be any harder than the system we have now. It would be up to the track to calculate the total number of points that a driver receives and when they send in their paper work to Nascar they can include where the driver started vs where they finished.
I look forward to seeing what others think about this idea.