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Head2Head: Is it a problem non-race winners currently lead?

February 21, 2011, ,

Edwards, Cassill and Rogers didn't win, but find themselves leading the points

The first race weekend is in the books and the current championship leaders are Clay Rogers, Landon Cassill and Carl Edwards. Three drivers that didn't win their race are currently leading the standings.

Rogers finished a career-high third in the Daytona Truck race behind winner Michael Waltrip and Nationwide driver Elliott Sadler. Cassill finished second to Cup regular Tony Stewart in the Daytona Nationwide race and Edwards was second in the 500 behind Nationwide regular Trevor Bayne.

Is it a problem that the point leaders are non-race winners?


NASCAR officials wanted to simplify the points system, because they apparently thought the old way of doing things was confusing casual fans.

Want to know what's confusing to people who don't watch the sport regularly? Seeing that three different drivers won races this weekend, and not a one of them is leading the points in any series. Even better, none of the victors are even running full schedules in the series in which they won.

Your Truck Series points leader after Michael Waltrip's victory is Clay Rogers -- the same Clay Rogers with two career laps led and 11 lead-lap finishes in 21 career starts. Landon Cassill, who has run more than half the Nationwide races in a season just once in his life, tops the points there after Tony Stewart's win. At least the Sprint Cup leader is Carl Edwards, a series regular who has finished in the top five in points before.

Even Trevor Bayne, who captured hearts with his stirring victory in the Daytona 500, is only scheduled to run 17 races in the Cup Series. At least he'll be running Cup at Phoenix, the only one of last weekend's winners who will strap back in in the same series.

Do you honestly think that makes sense to people outside of the bubble of this sport? Because it barely makes sense to me.

Jill Erwin, NASCAR.COM

The opinions expressed are solely those of the writer.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with how the current point standings are in NASCAR. In fact, after just one race, the new system is proving just how well it is going to work.

Sure, seeing Clay Rogers atop the Truck standings, Landon Cassill leading the Nationwide standings and Carl Edwards on top of the Cup standings is a little weird since none of them won at Daytona, but that just shows why the change was necessary.

Look, this is a huge change and it will take some time to get used to. But only giving points to those running for a championship is the best thing for the sport. The points system is easier. Part-time drivers don't need points.

I think it's nice to see guys like Rogers and Cassill leading their respective series -- they deserve it. They are currently the top drivers in their field. Yes, Rogers and Cassill finished behind drivers who decided to come down to their series and race, but when it comes to Truck and Nationwide regulars -- Rogers and Cassill are currently number one in their series, and they deserve that recognition.

Why put a driver on top who has no interest in being there? Points should be given to those trying to collect them.


The opinions expressed are solely those of the writer.

NASCAR's new point system and one championship rule has changed the way points are handed out. But is that a problem? Has a flaw in the system been discovered after one race? Bill Kimm and Jill Erwin debate that this week. Read their thoughts and weigh in with yours in the comments below. And don't forget to vote for whose argument you agree with more in the poll at the right.