NASCAR Sprint Cup Point Standings Analytics – After Race 17

The announcement of a change to the distribution of points across NASCAR national series sparked debate among even the most conservative NASCAR fans.  One of the explanations behind the change was to develop a more dramatic points battle to increase fan interest.

[media-credit name=”Barry Albert” align=”alignright” width=”233″][/media-credit]A debate arose over the fact that a quick calculation would show that very little, if anything, would change in the final championship standings. In fact, even among the more common point distributions across all major racing series, by the end of the season there did not appear to be much of a difference in the order of the final standings.

Here, I shall contend that debate with weekly comparisons across the three most commonly mentioned distributions, plus my own personal points schedule designed to reward both race winners and consistent high finishes.

Under the title ‘Chg’ lists the difference between a drivers points position between the points system and the current system.

Classic Points SystemStandings After Race 17

In a perplexing difference, Kyle Busch would lead the point standings over Carl Edwards, while Kevin Harvick drops to third. Notably this can be attributed to Busch’s three additional top five finishes, a facet which was more emphasis under the old system.

Notable changes in position compared to current system: None

Changes to Chase Field: NONE

F1 System Standings After Race 17

Edwards retains the the championship lead by virtue of his series leading 12 top ten finishes by 7 points over Kyle Busch. Matt Kenseth jumps up to third while actual points leader Kevin Harvick falls to fourth. Coke Zero 400 winner David Ragan jumps up to 11th in points, a mere four points out of the top ten

Notable Driver without points: Jeff Burton

Notable changes in position compared to current system: Marcos Ambrose (+9), Regan Smith (+8), David Ragan (+6), Kasey Kahne (+6), Ryan Newman (-4), Tony Stewart (-4), Greg Biffle (-8)

Changes to Chase Field: Brad Keselowski (IN), Ryan Newman (OUT)

IndyCar SystemStandings After Race 17

Kyle Busch jumps up to a slim points lead over second place runner Carl Edwards. Again, Kevin Harvick finds himself dropped to third, followed by Matt Kenseth and Jimmie Johnson.

Notable changes in position compared to current system: David Ragan (+6), Kasey Kahne (+5), Marcos Ambrose (+5), Regan Smith (+5), Jeff Burton (-5), Greg Biffle (-6), A.J. Allmendinger (-6)

Changes to Chase Field: NONE

Phat’s SystemStandings After Race 17

For an explanation of the points distribution, please see consult table below standings. This distribution is designed to reward race winners, while also rewarding those who run well every week.

With the same top five as the IndyCar system, Kyle Busch finds himself on top for the third points system. In comparing this system to the IndyCar and F1 systems, it is becoming apparent that systems which reward winners have roughly the same position distribution.

Notable changes in position compared to current system: Kasey Kahne (+6), David Ragan (+5), David Gilliand (+4), Ryan Newman (-4), Jeff Burton (-7), Greg Biffle (-8)

Changes to Chase Field: Tony Stewart (IN), Ryan Newman (OUT)

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of


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