NASCAR drivers knock F1 points plan

Updated: March 21, 2009, 5:19 PM ET
Associated Press

BRISTOL, Tenn. -- As Formula One's ruling body debates a new points system, NASCAR's top drivers almost unanimously agree a similar format would not work in their series.

The FIA said this week it would award the championship to the driver with the most race wins instead of highest points. The rule was vehemently opposed by teams and drivers, and the governing body agreed Friday to postpone its implementation until 2010.

NASCAR's system rewards consistency. The highest 12 drivers after 26 races are eligible to run for the Sprint Cup title over the final 10 events of the year, and winning does not necessarily crown a champion.

"I think if you determine your champion just based on wins, you're taking a huge gamble of having the wrong champion," Carl Edwards said.

And that's coming from the guy who would have won the title last year under F1's proposal. Edwards won a series-best nine races last year, but finished second in the final standings to Jimmie Johnson.

"If one guy wins one race and runs 20th in the rest of them, and another guy finishes second in every single race, (the first guy is) not the right guy for a champion," Edwards said.

His competitors agreed, noting that F1 uses a 17-race schedule and usually only three or four teams are competitive enough to challenge for victories. NASCAR has 36 points races and almost half of the 43-car field is capable of winning.

"When you look at how our series is, it's a marathon," Jeff Burton said. "The races are marathons. We run some of the longest races in the longest year compared to other forms of motorsports. So that means you need a different type of points system. I believe consistency matters."

Kevin Harvick called the F1 proposal "the most ridiculous idea I have ever heard," because a winner-take-all mentality erases the element of drivers battling back from adversity over the course of a 500-mile race.

"It is all about the guy who can fix his car, and it is about the guy who can come back and make something out of a loose wheel and make up two laps," he said. "If you aren't going to win and you are having a bad day, what are the consequences of just pulling in?"


Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press