Scoring systems may get overhaul

NASCAR Vice President of Corporate Communications, Jim Hunter, stated Saturday that NASCAR's scoring-system might be updated after the controversies at the end of the past weekend's Kansas Busch series event. After a late-race caution, the event...

NASCAR Vice President of Corporate Communications, Jim Hunter, stated Saturday that NASCAR's scoring-system might be updated after the controversies at the end of the past weekend's Kansas Busch series event.

After a late-race caution, the event was restarted with one lap to go, but a crash between Bobby Hamilton, Jr. and Greg Biffle resulted in another caution being flown. Within the new caution flag rule outlined by NASCAR, cars are not permitted to race back to the yellow flag, even on the white flag lap.

That rule, however, was not adhered to on Saturday, as several of the leaders raced back to take the yellow/checkered flag, including race winner David Green. The race back to the flag caused a unique problem for NASCAR's scoring computer. The computer records where the cars are at the finish line, but the rule change mandates that the cars be scored in what position they are in at the time of the yellow flag.

Hunter noted the problem, stating that he knew there was going to be some difficulties in sorting out the field, "Because we cannot freeze the cars at the exact moment that the yellow is displayed."

Officials deliberated for nearly an hour before the unofficial race results were released. Several positions changed hands, most notably Jason Keller's - who was given fourth, even though he slowed when the caution came out and was passed by a good portion of the field.

Hunter made clear that these were unofficial results, and that more positions may swap when the official results are posted on Monday.

"These are unofficial results," Hunter said. "They don't become official until Monday when we do they official race reports. I don't to lead anybody to believe that we may have a wholesale change come Monday. Everything's unofficial until Monday.

"Quite frankly, I don't foresee any wholesale changes, possibly a position in one or two cases, but I don't even know that that'll happen."

Several teams complained to NASCAR after the event, but the sanctioning body didn't have much of an answer to soothe their ennui.

"We're simply telling all those competitors that we're looking for a better system," Hunter said.

Hunter went on to note that NASCAR is considering two new systems. The first will use a series of electronic lines under the racetrack placed in different positions around the track. The second is a global position satellite system (GPS) that would freeze the cars in the computer the moment the caution is waved.

When asked whether the system would be in place for 2004, Hunter was hopeful, ""I think next year is realistic," and "possibly" by Daytona. (Competitors) expect NASCAR to come up with a better system to score the cars, and we will. It's just a question of when."

Hunter also went on to confirm that NASCAR is not reconsidering their decision to disallow racing back to the yellow flag.

Even on the last lap.

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Series NASCAR
Drivers Bobby Hamilton , Jason Keller , Greg Biffle , David Green