January 08, 2004

It's official.: NASCAR will switch to a playoff system for the last 10 races of the 2004 season.

posted by machaus to other at 06:47 PM - 8 comments

It's about time they moved away from the bowl system ...

posted by jasonspaceman at 07:09 PM on January 08, 2004

No more damn computers! Now they can go out on the lawn with the old air conditioners.

posted by billsaysthis at 09:48 PM on January 08, 2004

I guess I'll be finding other things to do rather than watch the last ten races of the season. Here we have yet another shining example of a sport failing to pay attention to its fans (and even its participants). Poll after poll showed fans and drivers overwhelmingly opposed to this cockamamie idea, and yet NASCAR is going to push ahead with it anyway. I was especially offended by "...Hunter said it was up to NASCAR to educate the fans as to the positives of the plan." In other words, the fans are too stupid to understand it, and if we can just explain it right, the dumbasses will get it. I think this is going to come back and bite NASCAR in the ass, big time. No other sport has such a loyal (and SPONSOR-LOYAL, where all the money is) fan base, and alienating them is going to be a big, big mistake.

posted by mr_crash_davis at 11:27 PM on January 08, 2004

I think it's a great idea. 10 races with only 10 drivers? That will be like 4 on 4 hockey! All 10 drivers will have a chance at the end of the race.

posted by corpse at 07:45 AM on January 09, 2004

This sounds like an incredibly stupid idea, but perhaps not. The goal is a simple one more butts in the seats. As for why NASCAR has decided to change the points system, Hunter said it was simple: After Labor Day, when college and pro football are beginning and competing for fans and television viewers, things go flat for NASCAR. NASCAR wants to add drama to the fall schedule, for TV and the fans. Some races late in the year are not selling out, Hunter said. In a year where someone has pretty much run off with the points title (Matt Kenseth last year, for example), the races down the stretch are really anticlimactic. This will allow for a better points chase. I'm certainly not for cheapening the results of the earlier races, but if the numbers are down that far for what should be the pinnacle of the season, NASCAR has to do something. Does anyone have a better suggestion for fixing that issue? Also, I will be interested to see what the cutoff is for how far behind you can be and still make the playoffs. I would think 10 cars is just too few for that many races. How about 20 cars to start, with the guy in last place after the standings being eliminated after each race? That way, for the last run, you get down to a 10-car sprint for the title.

posted by wfrazerjr at 10:51 AM on January 09, 2004

The playoff isn't going to limit the last 10 races to 10 drivers. It's just going to limit the number of drivers eligible to win the season -- the other drivers will continue to run. I can see why so many fans are Pete Rosing this proposal -- it's so complicated only Jeff Sagarin could love it.

posted by rcade at 04:48 PM on January 09, 2004

rcade, I must be thick where does it say the other cars will still be racing?

posted by wfrazerjr at 06:54 PM on January 09, 2004

Yuck. Not that I was a fan of NASCAR in any way before, but this is just head-achingly stupid. I think they should go to a proper points system where winning is more valued than coming in in the top 15 consistently.

posted by Space Coyote at 11:36 PM on January 09, 2004

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