Richmond statement on new point system

New method to determine NASCAR Nextel Cup Champ makes Richmond the last stop before 'The Chase for the Championship' begins. January 20, 2004- NASCAR officials today unveiled a new method to determine the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup champion that will...

New method to determine NASCAR Nextel Cup Champ makes Richmond the last stop before 'The Chase for the Championship' begins.

January 20, 2004- NASCAR officials today unveiled a new method to determine the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup champion that will mean more excitement and added value for fans, and a heightened sense of desperation by the drivers when they come to Richmond International September 11 for the Chevrolet Monte Carlo 400 event "under the lights."

The new system calls for all drivers in the NASCAR Top 10 and any others within 400 points of the leaders after the 26th race-the Chevrolet Monte Carlo 400 at Richmond International Raceway on Saturday, September 11- to earn a berth in the "Chase for the Championship" over the last 10 races.

All drivers in the "chase" will have their point totals adjusted after the Chevrolet Monte Carlo 400. The first-place driver in the standings will begin the chase with 5,050 points; the second-place driver will start with 5,045, etc. Incremental five-point drops will continue through the list of title contenders.

"We already have one of the most popular, exciting and fan-friendly weekends on the circuit," said track President Doug Fritz. "But the new method of determining a champion adds a new level of prestige to our Chevrolet Monte Carlo 400 event. Since we are now the last race before the 'Chase for the Championship' begins, there will be huge buzz leading up to the race, and one that drivers, fans, sponsors, NASCAR officials and media will have circled on their calendars. I know I can't wait to see the race and I'm sure the 107,000 lucky fans who hold tickets to the sold out event can't wait either."

"Drivers already take winning at Richmond very seriously, as evidenced by the wild finishes last fall between Kevin Harvick and Ricky Rudd in the Chevy Rock 'N Roll 400 and Johnny Sauter and Matt Kenseth in the FUNAI 250," Fritz continued. "Emotions always run high at Richmond, but the playoff-type atmosphere that will surround this event will be unlike anything we've ever seen."

In addition, NASCAR is changing the current point system for the first time since the system's 1975 inception, awarding 180 points to a race winner, compared to the previous award of 175 points. Five-point bonuses for leading a lap and leading the most laps will still be awarded.

The 180-point award will ensure that a race winner gets more points than a race runner-up. This change will be in effect starting this season for NASCAR's three national series - NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series, the NASCAR Busch Series and the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series.

Last week, track officials announced the addition of a Crown Royal IROC event to the September 9-11 weekend. The IROC event will run on Thursday, September 9 at no additional charge- for fans who hold a NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series ticket. The race will mark the first time in the All-Star series' 30-year history it will run on a short track.

For tickets and information fans can call 1-866-455-RACE or log onto www.rir.com

-rir-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Matt Kenseth , Kevin Harvick , Johnny Sauter