NASCAR Current Points System and Points System History


HOW NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points are awarded

(2011 to current)

Winning driver receives THREE bonus points.
Driver that leads a lap (under Green or Yellow Flag) receives ONE bonus point
Driver who leads the most laps receives ONE bonus point.

Finish Finish
Points
Finish Finish
Points
WIN 43 23rd 21
2nd 42 24th 20
3rd 41 25th 19
4th 40 26th 18
5th 39 27th 17
6th 38 28th 16
7th 37 29th 15
8th 36 30th 14
9th 35 31st 13
10th 34 32nd 12
11th 33 33rd 11
12th 32 34th 10
13th 31 35th 9
14th 30 36th 8
15th 29 37th 7
16th 28 38th 6
17th 27 39th 5
18th 26 40th 4
19th 25 41st 3
20th 24 42nd 2
21st 23 43rd 1
22nd 22    

The driver that starts the race receives the points and the finishing position credit.
a relief driver receives no points or credit for start/finish

In addition to the points above:
The winning driver receives THREE bonus points.
A driver who leads a lap during a race receives ONE bonus point.
The driver who leads the most laps receives an additional ONE bonus point.

(note: if two or more drivers tie for the most laps led, each gets the extra point)
As of 2014, these bonus points will NOT be awarded in the final race of the season.

Owners points are calculated the same as drivers.
The exception that owners whose entries do not qualify (DNQ) for the race do not receive points.
NASCAR keeps track of team attempts to set the field in case both qualifying and practices are cancelled.


HOW NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points were awarded 1975-2010

NOTE: Driver who led a lap (under Green or Yellow Flag) got FIVE bonus points
Driver who led the most laps got FIVE Bonus Points
from 1975 thru 2003 the winning driver was awarded 175 points
from 2004 thru 2006 the winning driver was awarded 180 points
from 2007 thru 2010 the winning driver was awarded 185 points
the rest of the points awarded by position remained the same

Finish Finish
Points
Finish Finish
Points
WIN 185 23rd 94
2nd 170 24th 91
3rd 165 25th 88
4th 160 26th 85
5th 155 27th 82
6th 150 28th 79
7th 146 29th 76
8th 142 30th 73
9th 138 31st 70
10th 134 32nd 67
11th 130 33rd 64
12th 127 34th 61
13th 124 35th 58
14th 121 36th 55
15th 118 37th 52
16th 115 38th 49
17th 112 39th 46
18th 109 40th 43
19th 106 41st 40
20th 103 42nd 37
21st 100 43rd 34
22nd 97    

The driver that started the race received the points and the finishing position credit.
a relief driver got no points or credit for start/finish

In addition to the points above, any driver who leads a lap during a race receives five bonus points.
The driver who leads the most laps receives an additional five bonus points.

Owner points were calculated the same, with the exception that owners whose entries do not qualify for the race are awarded owner points according to qualifying results. These are awarded by deducting three points per position until it reaches a minimum of one point (44th = 31, 45th = 28, 46th = 25, etc., after 54th, teams get 1 point).
Drivers that do not qualify receive no driver points.


History of the Point System in NASCAR's premier series

  • Original formula: 1949-1951
    Points based on amount of prize money paid.
    Example: Race purse of $1,000 paid 50 points-first place, 45-second, 40-third, 35-fourth, 30-fifth.
    Race purse of $3,500 paid 175 points for first place, 157.5-second, 140-third, 122.5 fourth, 105- fifth, etc.

    1952-1953 formula:
    Same formula, purses rose. A minimum purse of $4,000 paid 200 points for first place, 192-second, 184-third, 176-fourth, 168-fifth.
    A minimum purse of $25,000 paid 1,250 points for first, 1,200-second, 1,150-third, 1,100- fourth, 1,050 fifth, etc.

    1954-1962:
    Competitors were awarded points per the old system with additional points awarded per a separate schedule.

    1963-1965 formula:
    Events paying $4,200-$6,000 awarded winner 400 points with each succeeding position receiving 16 fewer points.
    Events paying $7,000-$10,000 awarded points per the point schedule listed in the 1963 NASCAR
    Rule Book. Events paying over $10,000 awarded points on the basis of 50 points per $1,000 posted by promoter.

    1966-1967 formula:
    Events paying basic prize money in the $5,000 and less than $7,000 category awarded the winner 400 points,
    with each succeeding position receiving 16 fewer points.
    Events- $7,000-$10,000 awarded the winner 500 points, with each succeeding position receiving 20 fewer points.

    1968-1971 formula:
    Events to 249 miles: 50 points to win, with one less point for each succeeding position.
    Events 250-399 miles: 100 points to win, with two less points for each succeeding position.
    Events 400 miles and over: 150 points to win, with three less points for each succeeding position.

    1972 formula (start of the modern era):
    Tracks under 1 mile....................0.25 point per lap
    1 mile tracks..............................0.50 " " "
    1.3 mile track(Darlington)............0.70 " " "
    1.5 mile tracks...........................0.75 " " "
    2 mile tracks (Michigan)...............1.00 " " "
    Tracks 2.5 miles and over............1.25 " " "

    1973 formula:
    100 points to win, with two less points for each succeeding position: 100, 98, 96, etc. (Race winner received 25 points in addition to the first position points.)
    Additionally, lap points were awarded for the number of laps completed per the following schedule:
    0 up to 1 mile tracks.........0.25 points per number of laps completed.
    1 mile tracks...................0.50 points " " "
    1.3 mile track..................0.70 points " " "
    1 mile track.................0.75 points " " "
    2 mile track....................1.00 points " " "
    2 mile track.................1.25 points " " "

    1974 formula
    Money winnings from track purses (qualifying and contingency awards did not count), in dollars, multiplied by the number of races started, and the resulting figure divided by 1,000 determined the number of points earned.

    1975 formula:
    Most recent formula used. Still in use today, except the winner earned a max of 185 points, as opposed to the maximum of 48 today.

    Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Era

    2004
    Essentially, the point structure mirrored previous years, but NASCAR introduced the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.
    Under this new playoff-type system, only the top 10 drivers after race No. 26 could vie for the championship.
    The top seed had his points reset to 5,050, with points decreasing by five for each driver.

    2007
    The Chase expanded to 12 drivers. After race No. 26, all Chase drivers' points were reset to 5,000, with 10 bonus points added to each total for every win during the first 26 races.

    2011
    Though the number of Chase drivers remained at 12, only the top 10 in points after 26 races got locked into the Chase. Spots 11 and 12 went to those drivers outside the top 10 with the most wins, provided they were in the top 20.

    2014
    Under the current system, the Chase expands to 16 drivers. A top-line overview:
    - A victory in the first 26 races all but guarantees a berth in the 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup - a change that will put an unprecedented importance on winning a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race all season long
    - Expanding the Chase field from 12 to 16 drivers, with those drivers advancing to what now will be known as the NASCAR Chase Grid
    - The number of championship drivers in contention for the NASCAR Sprint Cup championship will decrease after every three Chase races, from 16 to start in the Chase Grid; 12 after Chase race No. 3; eight after Chase race No. 6; and four after Chase race No. 9
    - The first three races of the Chase (27-29) will be known as the Challenger Round; races 30-32 will be known as the Contender Round; races 33-35 will be the Eliminator Round and race No. 36 will be the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship
    - A win by a championship-eligible driver in any Chase race automatically clinches the winning driver a spot in the next Chase round
    - Four drivers will enter the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship with a chance at the title, with the highest finisher among those four capturing the prestigious NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship.(no bonus points for leading laps count)(NASCAR 1-30-2014)


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