November 6, 2009, Newsletter Issue #152: The NASCAR Points System

Tip of the Week


Points in all three of NASCARís major system have all been awarded the same way since 1975. Bob Latford, who was a pubic relations official at what was then known as Charlotte Motor Speedway and now known as Lowes Motor Speedway, developed the system. The system awards points from first place to 43rd, or 36th in the Craftsman Truck Series.

The number one finisher is awarded 185 points. Second place 170 -15 points back. From the third to the sixth place positions the separation is five points (sixth place is awarded 150).

From seventh to eleventh the separation is four points. Three points separate positions twelfth until the end.

Five bonus points are also awarded for leading a lap and leading the most laps during a race. NASCAR determines who is leading each lap at the finish line. In other words, a driver who makes a pass for the lead along the backstretch must still be leading when they cross the finish line in order to be credited with leading a lap and gaining the five bonus points.

Only the driver who starts the race is awarded the points for that race. Several examples of relief drivers have appeared through the years. In 2006, two-time champion Tony Stewart who had sustained an injury the week prior, started a race at Dover International Speedway. Early in the race, driver Ricky Rudd replaced Stewart. Stewart was awarded the points for the race as if he had finished Rudd was not.

In addition to driver points there are also owners points. Owner points are scored the same as driver points, the exception being that the owner keeps the points the racecar scores no matter who drives it.

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