Fire up the scanner, it is time for Crew Chatter with Speedway Digest writers. This week we tackle Charlotte with the question, “Should NASCAR award the regular season champion during the Chase?”
I can see the argument here. Though I think something needs to be put into place where if the regular season saw more than 16 different winners, and the points leader went all throughout the season without a win, maybe give the 16th spot of the Chase to the driver leading the standings after race 26 should this ever happen. Same goes for the lower two series as well. It's unlikely that would ever happen, but there is still a slight possibility.
I have no opinion on whether or not regular-season leaders should be rewarded but I've been listening to all the shows on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio discuss this and some of the callers have come up with some wacky ideas. I think it should be a monetary incentive. I don't know if they still do but they have actually done this in rodeo, rewarded the regular-season winners with a certain amount of money. It's nice to leave Richmond as the points/Chase leader but when the playoffs begin, it doesn't really mean anything because the slate is wiped clean every three races.
I think NASCAR should absolutely reward a driver for "winning" the regular season based on points. It's kind of a win/win for everyone, if you think about it.
The fans that want NASCAR to revert back to the old days where points really matter and this Chase format isn't in existence, it gives them a little of that back.
The drivers already have incentive to win in the regular season, but now they would have to temper back their driving styles to a certain extent in order to remain solid based on points for the first 26 weeks of the season.
As for what I think the reward should be, that's a different story. This might not be a popular opinion, but I believe if you win the regular season, you deserve not only a bye into the Round of 12, but an automatic bid into the Round of 8.
I say this because the regular season makes up just under 75% of the season as a whole. There should be a bigger reward for the person who emerges victorious from those races as "the best", right?
I do believe that NASCAR should grant the regular season points leader something.It is sad to see that a team that has the best “record” lose that record when it comes to the Chase. Drivers work hard throughout the season, and to lose that points lead is ridiculous. What should it be? That is the question that has to be answered. I personally believe that there should be either a first round bye or that the regular season points leader have first choice of pit stall UNTIL they’re knocked out of the race. However, I will leave that decision up to the powers that be in Charlotte and Daytona.