Friday, February 06, 2004

What's Next, a "Chase for the Championship"?

With the ChampCar season apparently a go, new owners OWRS are making some changes to the series, including a new point system. The old CART point system ran through the top 12 places and added bonus points for pole position and leading the most laps in a race. While more generous than the Formula1 system (that only goes through the top 8 spots), that system at least made finishing "in the points" meaningful. The new system, sadly, is taking a page from NASCAR's playbook. For this seasons points are awarded all the way down to 20th place. That doesn't sound too bad, until you consider that CART struggled to get 18 cars to the grid last year. Assuming the same fields as 2003, that means everybody who shows up at a ChampCar weekend will score points. Oh, and just enhance the NASCAR effect, one point is available to everyone who leads a lap, too.

Unlike the NASCAR system, which most agree needs some changes, the old CART system didn't get any complaints. At least none that I recall. So why change now? Maybe the powers that be at OWRS know something I don't about the size of the fields this year, but I find that highly unlikely.

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