How NASCAR Should Approach Cheating in New Points System

by Ryan O'Hara On Tue, Mar. 04, 2014

Photo Credit: David Yeazell

With winning a necessity to make the Chase for the Sprint Cup in 2014, NASCAR has some decisions to make. With the inspection process much simpler this season, it leaves some possible rule changes open for discussion.

NASCAR took a win away from Matt Kenseth last season, but ended up giving it back, as the NASCAR Appeals Committee deemed the penalty to be too severe. Will the committee always be on the side of NASCAR or the teams? As for the committee, I think it will ultimately depend on how severe the infraction is.

Unfortunately, I believe this will be inevitable, but someone is going to be the first to take the bait. With this new points system, it encourages teams to take risks to go for the win, which means that the borders will be pushed, as far as limits are concerned. However, risks can lead to rewards.

To be fair, NASCAR needs to penalize violators harshly. Now, some are probably wondering what side I am on. There are no sides taken here. I believe that teams should be regulated less. As a result, teams can innovate as much as they want. With that being said, I was not a huge fan of the inspection process to begin with. But, like I said, winning leads to the Chase.

So, what if someone cheats and wins? Well, the win should not count, period. NASCAR had a rocky end to 2013, especially with the MWR cheating scandal, which exposed serious flaws with the points system. In this day and age, there was no way NASCAR was going to take away the playoff aspect of the points system. Times have changed and so have the views of the fans. So, this is what we have. Is it perfect? By all means, it is not.

My proposal is extremely important at NASCAR’s major events. What is a major event? Most races to fans are major events, but behold! There used to be a rewards program known as The Winston No Bull 5 or the Winston Million. The Winston Million could be won by winning three of four major events in a season, which has only been done twice. Bill Elliott completed the feat in 1985 and Jeff Gordon got it done in 1997.

Anyway, the majors included: The Daytona 500, Aaron’s 499 (spring Talladega race only), Coca-Cola 600, and the Southern 500. Now, people also have included the Brickyard 400 as a major. So, we have five. For example, if someone cheats in these events, NASCAR should make significant point deductions. This could kill chase hopes for a driver if they were to be found guilty and not win a race before Richmond, so the slogan is simple: Do not cheat. How many points should be deducted? I would say 0 points for the race and 48 points on top of that for major events only, so penalties at any other tracks would include: 1. Win gone. 2. No points earned for the race. Major events: 1. Win gone. 2. No points earned. 3. 48 point deduction.

It’s harsh, yes, but NASCAR has not given us much of a choice because of the importance of winning. However, it does build excitement, especially late in the season. I am expecting a mixed reception. Please comment and start a debate! We, at Speedway Media, want to hear what everyone has on their mind.

** The opinions expressed on this site are not necessarily those of the publisher. All comments other than website related problems need to be directed to the author. (c)SpeedwayMedia.com. **

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