The Herald Bulletin

January 21, 2014

Ken de la Bastide: NASCAR Chase proposal a bad idea


The Herald Bulletin

---- — I have never been a fan of the “Chase for the Championship” implemented by NASCAR for the Sprint Cup teams. I’m even more disappointed with proposed changes in the format.

As race fans well know, the top 10 or 12 teams in the point standings compete over the final 10 races for the title. The points are reset based on the number of wins.

After 10 races the driver with the most points is crowned the champion. I have always believed that it made the first 26 races of the season mostly meaningless and took away the prestige of the championship.

NASCAR is now considering expanding the field to 16 drivers, based on wins. If 16 different drivers didn’t record a win the field will be set by points.

After the first three races the bottom four Chase drivers will be eliminated, four more will fall by the wayside after six races, and four more after nine events.

The four remaining drivers will have their points reset and the champion will be crowned based on the finish at Homestead. It’s a winner-take-all scenario.

Why bother with the Chase at all? Take the top 35 teams in the point standings and the winner at Homestead will be crowned the champion.

Now the contention will be made that the teams have to win a race during the first 26 events or amass enough points to make the Chase field.

I would prefer that NASCAR include only race winners in the Chase and not eliminate any teams during the 10-race championship run.

What would happen after the first three races if the driver in 13th place is only one point away from elimination? Sorry about your luck, see you next year.

Anything could happen over 10 races. The point leader after three races could record three DNFs, which would probably tighten up the point standings.

I hope this idea falls by the wayside very quickly. An NCCA-type tournament structure won’t work for NASCAR.

In other racing news: If you’re planning to go to the Daytona 500 this year, the ticket price increased 4.4 percent to an average of $263 for a seat. That’s $10 more than in 2013. The average price in 2010 was $173 and in 2011 was $195.

NASCAR intends to eliminate 46,000 seats at the track by 2016; the intent is higher ticket prices. At a time of declining ticket sales at most events, is it a good idea to be raising the prices?

Noblesville driver Bryan Clauson won the Chili Bowl for Midgets in Tulsa this past weekend to claim his first “Golden Driller” award.

Clauson passed New Castle’s Caleb Armstrong on the sixth lap and led to the finish.

Kokomo’s Dave Darland finished fifth, New Castle’s Tracy Hines came home in 12th and Armstrong was credited with a 19th-place finish.

Armstrong won a preliminary race on Thursday to qualify for Saturday’s feature and Clauson won on Friday.

Follow Ken de la Bastide @KendelaBastide on Twitter, or call 640-4863.