Michael Waltrip Racing Driver/Crew Chief Responses to NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Points System Announcement

MICHAEL WALTRIP, Co-OWNER, MICHAEL WALTRIP RACING

ON THE NEW NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES POINT SYSTEM:

“As a racecar driver I’ve known for a long time that if you finish 11th you’re going to get 60 more points than if you finish 30th. But I know that, and not very many other people know that. Now anyone can understand that if you finish 10th and someone else finishes 20th you’re only going to get 10 more points than him and so it will just make the fans more engaged.


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“I think we not only need to look at the points’ system but beyond that. Look at the tracks to make sure that people understand where pit road speed starts. You know if you look at the Dallas Cowboys new stadium that’s the new standard. That’s where the bar is set with those big video screens and all sorts of technology. That’s where we need to head with our race tracks. We don’t need a cone set up at the end of pit road saying that’s where pit road speed begins, we need it either shot across digitally or it needs to be a big sign saying ‘enter here – speed limit 45.’ We need to show that so a fan in the stands can see those things. I think that is the direction we’re going and this is just the first little step.”

DAVID REUTIMANN, DRIVER No. 00 AARON’S DREAM MACHINE TOYOTA

ON CHANGES TO THE SPRINT CUP SERIES POINT SYSTEM:

“It is what it is. I think in the end, especially toward the end of the year, when you’re trying to figure out who gets in and who doesn’t it should make things a little easier for everyone to understand. The old way was pretty complicated for not only the fans, but for some of us as far as trying to figure some of that stuff out – maybe more complicated than it needed to be. I think it’s a good move to try and simplify things. I don’t see any down side to it.

“Really, I don’t think it’s something that I’m going to put a lot of thought into. I know that if I’m winning races or finishing in the top five and maintaining a high level of consistency it’s all going to work itself out and I’ll be where I need to be in points when the time comes. That may be trying to over-simply it, but I don’t spend a lot of time looking at where I’m at in the standings now … that’s just how it is. If it’s better for the fans and better for the sport I’m racing as hard and as fast as I can every week to get everything I can out of the race car and get the best  finish I can – that’s not going to change.”

ON CHANGES TO THE CHASE SYSTEM:

“If it helps me get in (to the Chase) I’m all for it. (laughs). I look at some of the guys last year that qualified for the Chase – they had great seasons and deserved to be there because they consistently finished toward the front and got a lot of points, but a little more emphasis on winning is okay by me. Then some guys, like me, ran into problems early in the season that cost us a shot at the Chase. We ran up front our fair share too and feel we were just as good as a lot of the Chase teams throughout the year – and we won a race. I think there was four of us that won races but were on the outside looking in when the Chase came around. The new system seems to reward both consistency and wins – that’s a good thing.”  

 

MARTIN TRUEX JR., DRIVER No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS TOYOTA

ON CHANGES TO THE SPRINT CUP SERIES POINT SYSTEM:

“I think the main goal is to make sure everyone understands the points system better. It will be easier to follow for the fans, the television announcers and anyone involved in the sport. The way it worked before, if you were watching or following a Chase race, they had to have a ticker on the screen to show the points because no one could figure it out. It was complicated. Depending on positions, there could be three points or five points separating positions.

“The decision to change it was based on simplicity. I think it is a great thing. The fans can understand and if they are watching the stands or on television, if their driver passes someone, they know how many points the pass is worth. I like it because it will engage the fans more because it is much easier to understand what is going on. It’s a simpler system. It’s easier to understand and it’s a great thing for all of us in NASCAR.

“For broadcasters, they can understand quickly how each position is going to impact the overall scheme of things and put on an even better show.

“Like I said, I think it is a good thing to keep it simple. Based on the model I have been shown, it’s not really going to change anything. The guys who run the best are still going to have the most amount of points. “

RODNEY CHILDERS, CREW CHIEF No. 00 AARON’S DREAM MACHINE TOYOTA

ON THE NEW NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES POINT SYSTEM:

“I think the new system will be easier for the fans. I’ll be honest with you, I’ve watched this stuff my whole life and I’ve never understood it. I can’t tell you how it works and I’ve never understood it – all I know is how many points we’re out and this and that. I look at the points report after a race to see where we are, but that’s about the extent of it.

“It’ll be easier for the fans and easier for the teams. It will definitely get easier when you get down to the Chase and you’re looking at what you have to do to get in. It’s going to put some value into winning races I think. You’re going to have to be able to win races in order to get in.”

“Everybody’s playing with the same point system, so either you’re team is good enough to do it or it’s not. It’s up to us to make sure that we do our jobs. As long as we’re all racing with the same point system it shouldn’t matter how they do it.”

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

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