Opinion & Comment: Points Swapping
The first sign of spring is now less than 3 weeks away - the Bud Shootout on 7 Feb 09. Teams are scrambling to make sure their cars & teams are ready to race for the '09 season.
One thing I still am undecided on is the NASCAR rule that allows "points swapping" of owners points. I can't seem to make up my mind as to how I really feel about this. For those unfamiliar with the ever-changing NASCAR rulebook, they guarantee the top 35 in "owners" points a starting position in the race. The first 5 races of a new season fall back to last years finishing top 35. If a top team withdrawals from the season, the 36th will be locked in, etc. So, it is in a teams best interest to maintain that top 35 status so they will be guaranteed a starting spot each week.
I guess the key word is "OWNERS" on this points rule - meaning: these points belong to the owner to do with as they please - except for selling them to another team/owner.
To introduce my point of contention, over the past few days, Yates racing has opted to move the points "earned" by the 28 team to the newly formed and fully sponsored 98 team and the points "earned" by the 38 team new alliance and mostly sponsored 96 HOF team. The unsponsered 28 team will be entered as a new team and most reports have the 38 team as inactive or shut down. I really hate to say anything negative about Yates since I have been a fan since the Dale Jarrett Quality Care days but this move really has me wondering.
Granted, the points belong to the owner but they were won by the team - basically taking the points away from the ones who earned them and giving them to the ones who didn't (almost sounds political, doesn't it.) Why should the 28 team now have to race their way in each week when last year they they finished 23rd in points? Bobby Labonte has the champions provisional to fall back on for 5 races in the 96 HOF car but they get the 38's points. On the other hand, the best driver would have problems without the owners equipment - except for Tony Stewart or Jimmie Johnson - I think those 2 could drive a dump truck to victory lane and I say that as a die-hard Ford man.
So how should the points be handled? Stay with the team that earned them or at the owners discretion? My verdict is still out - Maybe we should do a poll... Chris??
Originally published on Stockcar Racing Online
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