NASCAR Race Weekend Central

NASCAR’s Busch Series: Fix the Points System, Please!

If I were to ask if the NASCAR Busch Series were in need of some sort of a points system change, the answers I would get would probably range from ‘hell no!’ to ‘well duh!’ Kevin Harvick clinched the 2006 championship with a ninth-place finish in the Dollar General 300 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, four weeks prior to the Ford Championship Weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway, and Carl Edwards is well on his way to doing the same with the 2007 championship. There has got to be something NASCAR can do to make these points races a little less boring.

Perhaps the most simple solution is to leave it alone and make wins worth more points. That was one of the changes most sought after by fans when NASCAR first talked about changing the Nextel Cup points system. If I were to pick a random number, like 10, and make race wins worth that much more each week, Edwards would have received 40 extra points this season, and Harvick would have received 50 extra points. Under that system, Edwards would still have a monumental 690-point lead instead of the current gap of 700. The top five would look like this:

1. Carl Edwards 3653
2. Kevin Harvick 2963
3. David Reutimann 2883
4. Jason Leffler 2751
5. David Ragan 2691

While awarding more points for a win is a great idea, that alone is not enough to make the kind of difference the Busch Series needs. Another option would be to not allow full-time Nextel Cup drivers to earn points. Not only would that help tighten up the points lead, it would also help lessen the impact of the Buschwackers on series. That would make Leffler the points leader over Bobby Hamilton Jr. by 164 points in a championship battle that would yet to be decided. The top five would look like this:

1. Jason Leffler 2741
2. Bobby Hamilton Jr. 2577
3. Stephen Leicht 2512
4. Marcos Ambrose 2501
5. Mike Wallace 2419

Another option would be for the Busch Series to switch to a Chase system like the one currently run in the Nextel Cup Series. At least then, no matter how far ahead Edwards is, their Chase would be starting this weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway. The points race would be so close, two rookies would be a part of the 12 drivers that have a shot at the championship. Here’s what the top five would look like:

1. Kevin Harvick 5050
2. Carl Edwards 5040
3. Matt Kenseth 5020
4. Jason Leffler 5010
4. Stephen Leicht 5010
6. Greg Biffle 5000
6. Dave Blaney 5000
6. David Reutimann 5000
6. David Ragan 5000
6. Bobby Hamilton Jr. 5000
6. Marcos Ambrose 5000
6. Mike Wallace 5000

There are plenty of options NASCAR has to make changes to the Busch Series points system. It doesn’t matter which one they choose, but something has to be done if they want to regain the integrity that the series once held and to make the Busch Series championship actually mean something and not become a joke.

News Around the Busch Series

  • Carl Long had planned to make his first start in the Busch Series this season at Bristol Motor Speedway, but he will not be at the track. Long was cutting a sheet of metal when he sliced off the top of his right ring finger on Tuesday. The team did not have time to get the car ready for Thursday’s practice and will miss the race this week.
  • Craftsman Truck Series driver Travis Kvapil will make his fourth career start in the Busch Series in the No. 16 3M Ford Fusion at Bristol. Normally a full-time driver in the No. 6 K&N Ford F-150 for Roush Fenway in the Truck Series, Kvapil has a truck win and three top-10 finishes at the 0.533-mile track. Also, Johnny Sauter will make his first Busch Series start of 2007 for Brewco Motorsports in the No. 27 Kleenex Ford.

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