Tag Archives: points system

The NASCAR Points System

26 Apr

Before going to my first NASCAR race on Saturday, I figured I should finally learn the NASCAR points system… (I say “finally” because I’ve watched 7 or 8 Sprint Cup Series races so far without having a clue about how points are awarded).

Anyways… I Googled “NASCAR points system,” and what I discovered seems pretty straightforward (really).

Scroll down to learn how it works.

Contrary to popular belief, drivers are NOT awarded points for "wrecking."

Drivers are awarded points based on the order in which they finish:

  • First-place is awarded 43 points;
  • Second-place is awarded 42 points;
  • Third-place is awarded 41 points, and so on.

In addition to these points…

  • The race winner receives 3 bonus points for the victory.
  • Any driver who leads at least one lap during the race is awarded 1 point.
  • The driver who leads the most laps during the race earns 1 bonus point in the standings.


This means that the maximum number of points a driver can earn in a race is 48:

43 points for finishing first

+ 3 bonus points for the win

+ 1 bonus point for leading at least one lap

+ 1 bonus point for leading the most laps

= 48 possible points

Source: http://www.nascar.com/news/110128/points-system/index.html


Of course, I have a few questions about the points system:

  1. If 40 drivers enter the race (instead of 43), does the winner still get 43 points and does the 40th-place finisher still get 4? (It sounds to me like “yes“).
  2. I didn’t follow NASCAR when it used the previous points system… Is the new point system easier for long-time fans to understand? (That was the point, right?).


Now that I understand the points system, it makes sense to me why some drivers will stay out for an extra lap when the majority of the field heads to pit road. (It’s because a first-time leader in the race gets that extra bonus point in the standings).

Slowly but surely, I’m becoming less and less of a NASCAR noob.


As always, if you can answer my questions, help me out in the comments section below, or on Twitter at @NASCARneophyte.