Indycar and NASCAR


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    So in NASCAR the ‘sprint’ portion of the championship started today with Bowyer winning after Stewart ran out of fuel. I had the race on in the background while working – sorta interesting but a bit long. The sprint concept is interesting – apparently they set it up to compete with NFL, which started last week.

    In Indycar the championship is going to go down to the last race. Will Power is 12 points ahead of Franchitti with a single race to go. Power winning would be a good omen for the other aussie racer contending for a drivers championship :) The last race is in Homestead on the 2nd of October. It is an oval, and Power has yet to win on an oval this year (they are his weakness)

    Prisoner Monkeys

    I actualy think a variant on the NASCAR Sprint system might work well in Formula 1. At the end of the European season, any driver who is a mathematical possibility of winning the World Championship gets grouped into a champioship-within-a-championship, where they are awarded points concurrently to the championship. So if Jenson Button wins the Singapore Grand Prix, he’d get 25 championship points and 10 “sprint” points. If Lewis Hamilton comes third, but someone like Rosberg (who is not a possibility of the title) comes second, then Hamilton gets 15 championship points and 8 “sprint” points. The idea is to keep the championship alive for as long as possible.


    So PM let me see if I understand this…

    The sprint points would be added to their championship points and the WDC would be the one with the most regular+sprint points at the end of the year?

    How does the NASCAR sprint work?

    Red Andy

    The NASCAR sprint works like this:

    The season is 36 races long, which is divided into the first 26 regular races and the last 10, which are termed “the Chase.”

    At the end of the regular season, the top twelve in the drivers’ standings have their championship points set to 5000, plus an additional 10 for each race win recorded during the regular season (these scores were correct last time I checked; they may have changed this year). The idea is that the title is now mathematically unobtainable for anyone outside the top 12.

    The 10 Chase races are then run with scoring as normal; the guy who leads the standings at the end of the Chase is the champion.

    It’s a sensible system for an image-driven sport like NASCAR as it means that nobody can run away with the title too early in the season. Personally I think it would be too contrived to work in F1, and I’m sure you’d get some venues complaining that their race has been “devalued” because it’s not part of the ultimate race for the championship.


    We should write a NASCAR primer for F1F. I moved to the US 5 years ago so I got into it more, and it is a good/interesting sport. I don’t really follow any team but do support Montoya and Ambrose (ex-F1 driver and an aussie).

    NASCAR are experts at gimmicks that attract ratings. They not only have ‘the chase’ (which co-incidentally is 12 races long, the same as the NFL season, airs on Sundays, same as NFL, and starts the same week as the NFL) but also non-championship races:

    * Budweiser Shootout – first race of the season that is invitation only. Held at Daytona. To qualify you have to be a previous winner, a previous champ or part of the last seasons ‘chase’. Winner gets money:

    * Gatorade Duel – Similar to the shootout, also at Daytona, but drivers race in teams –

    * Sprint All-Star Race (are you catching on with the naming convention yet?) – $1M prize for a structured invitation-only race held in Charlotte (a short-track oval). The race is broken down into segments, with full-course yellows between each segment. 50 laps, then 20, then 20 then 10 full green laps. Winner of each segment gets part of the prize and the overall winner takes home $1M. There are mandatory stops at each segment. Invitation rules I am not sure about but it is similar to the Budwesier Shootout. A lot of NASCAR innovations are introduced at this race and then adopted for the main season, such as double-file restarts –

    I think F1 should introduce similar (albeit gimmicky) sprint or challenge races. I watched the All-Star Race this year and it was a blast, a great intro to NASCAR for first-time viewers as well.

    Television rights in NASCAR are spread out over 6 different networks – and they are constantly competing with each other to bring the best coverage of the event. They throw a lot of resources at the coverage – from pit reporters, technical reporters, going through team radio, keeping a watch on every team and driver in the field with news updates, technical reports using a NASCAR in the studio to show you what is going on etc. It makes the BBC coverage look plain in comparison. It makes the FOM directing look like child’s play – as NASCAR often has side-by-side coverage showing different parts of the field, and constantly updating delta times between drivers which mean that they can switch over as soon as they see a driver closing on another.


    @Prisoner Monkeys – not a bad idea. I think purists will argue that the points over the year should be the champ, but they should at least:

    * Award points for fastest lap – make it at least 3 or 4 so that instead of tuning down their engines at the end of the race the drivers are all gunning for extra points.

    * Award a point and track ‘laps lead’ – no more waiting for pitstops

    * A ‘sprint’ race with a reverse grid :)

    * Some challenge or sprint races like what NASCAR do. Say each time they visit Monza or Silverstone, a week or day before the main race there is a 15-lap, low-fuel shootout for a few points

    Fact is that other series are constantly innovating in order to compete with viewer attention from other spots. F1 has been static for years – it has to thank the close racing from the past few seasons and new teams breaking through (Red Bull) as the reason a lot of fans remain interested.

    Prisoner Monkeys

    One out-there idea could be the introduction of a spec chassis for all championship challengers during the final leg of the championship. After Monza, all points are fixed at a certain level (like in the Sprint Cup) and the championships contenders are given identical cars produced by a third party. The teams are not alowed to make any changes to these cars, the idea being that the drivers’ title will be decided on driver skill alone. This could take the form of a sprint race on Saturdays purely for the championship drivers with the grid being decided either on championship standings or aggregate finishing positions for the year. A handful of extra points would be on offer.

    A ‘sprint’ race with a reverse grid

    The day reverse grid races are introduced is the day I stop watching. They’r more trouble than they’re worth – V8 Supercars used to have them a few years ago with the first race of the weekend being decided based on qualifying, the second race being a reverse grid based on the first race results and the third race being their aggregate finishing position. It wasn’t uncommon to see drivers sandbagging during the races to try and get a better finishing position.


    Hey guys,

    So who’s watching the IndyCar tonight? Really looking forward to it but have to admit to being a bit of a noob when it comes to IndyCar but I hope Dario can do it. How are you watching it? I’ve got no Sky so I’m on watching the internet coverage atm and hoping its going to be reliable


    @Ads21 yes definitely watching it, though rooting for Will (I am an aussie).

    Will killed it on the road courses this year, but is weak on the ovals (same problem Montoya and Ambrose have in NASCAR)

    If you lose your live feed, check the feeds here:

    I am watching it on ESPN live


    So whats the points situation? What does either driver need to do to win it?


    Oh well, all over now. Power hit the wall and retired, which meant Franchitti only needed to finish in the top 10 to take the title – and he finished 8th.

    The crowd was really small, disappointing considering that the race was at Homesteam, the ‘home’ of NASCAR and Indy.

    Will is more suited to European open wheel racing, I hope he gets an F1 seat, but he is a bit old atm. He completely dominated the street and track races this year in Indy. Dario won it with only 3 wins, but he was consistant as he only finished outside of the top 10 twice.

    Congrats to Franchitti

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