NASCAR restructures manufacturers’ points system

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One day after NASCAR CEO Brian France mentioned the possibility of future changes to the Sprint Cup drivers’ points system, the sanctioning body has announced tweaks to its manufacturers’ points structure effective with this coming season.

“We have always focused on intensifying the natural rivalries between our manufacturers – both on the race track and in the showroom,” NASCAR VP of competition/racing development Robin Pemberton said in a statement.

“We believe aligning the points system with the owner points will create better understanding for the entire industry, and bolster interest and excitement with our fan base, which has shown intense manufacturer loyalty throughout the sport’s history.”

The new system, which will be in use across all three NASCAR national series (Sprint Cup, Nationwide, and Camping World Truck), now mirrors the structure seen with the owners’ championship.

In each race, points will be awarded to the single highest finisher from each manufacturer according to the finishing position awarded:

  • Sprint Cup: 43-1, plus bonus points
  • Nationwide: 43-4, plus bonus points
  • Trucks: 43-8, plus bonus points

Three extra bonus points will be awarded to the manufacturer for a race win. The single highest finisher from each manufacturer will receive one extra bonus point for leading a lap, and one extra bonus point for leading the most laps.

The folks at NASCAR were kind enough to leave a Sprint Cup example: Under the new manufacturers’ points system, let’s say Toyota sweeps the top three positions in a race and the winning Toyota leads the most laps in the race.

That means 43 points for finishing first plus five bonus points (three for the win, one for single lap led, one for most laps led), meaning Toyota gets 48 manufacturer points for that race.

Now, let’s add a Chevrolet driver finishing fourth but leading no laps – that means the Bowtie will get the standard 40 points for a fourth-place finish.

Should two of the manufacturers be tied in points at the end of the season, the one with the most victories that season gets the manufacturer’s championship.

If there is a tie in wins, then the tie will be broken by the most second-place finishes, followed by third-place finishes, and so on. And if a tie somehow still remains, the manufacturer with the earliest win of the current season will take the title.

New Formula E champ, teammate fined for ‘underwear violation’

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During this past weekend’s pair of season-ending races in New York, newly-crowned Formula E champion Jean-Eric Vergne and Techeetah teammate Andre Lotterer were fined nearly $6,000 apiece for, well, there’s no easier way to say it than, “underwear violations.”

According to Jalopnik.com, the two drivers were fined for “wearing non-compliant” underwear during qualifying for Sunday’s second and final race of the weekend.

In addition to cash, the duo also lost two penalty points each for violating Article 30.14 of the Formula E 2017/2018 regulations.

In case you’re wondering, the violation has nothing to do with not wearing the right sponsor’s brand of jockeys or boxers.

Rather, Formula E ruled the underwear the drivers wore was a “safety issue” and that the drivers were penalized for wearing “non-compliant” underwear.

Drivers are required to wear fire- and flame-resistant outer- and under-garments while behind the wheel to help minimize the risk of being burned in the event of a crash and resulting fire.

Here’s how Formula E characterized the violation in a statement about Vergne’s penalty

“After checking the clothes, helmet and front head restraint of the driver, it was found that he was wearing non-compliant underwear pants which are not allowed by the [FIA’s] international sporting code. The driver apologized. The stewards consider that in this case the infringement occurred during group qualifying with limited cars on circuit for a short period of time.”

It’s not the first time Formula E drivers have been penalized for having on the wrong kind of drawers.

Former F-E champ Lucas di Grassi was penalized three points and nearly $10,000 in March for fire-resistant underwear that FIA officials called “too short.”

Gee, who knew that pre-qualifying “inspection” could be so personal?

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