By Toby Christie (Originally appeared on RubbingsRacing.com)
It’s no secret by now that fans aren’t very happy with a rule that guarantees that their favorites are in the field every week. I’m of course referring to the “top 35 in owner points” rule. A rule that was instituted a few years back to insure big time sponsors that if a team was in the top 35 of Nascar Owner Points they’d be locked in the field every week.
Well it appears not only are the fans upset that every week 35 drivers are assured of a spot in the field, no matter what happens in qualifying, but now the fact that teams can basically sell this right to the highest bidder has set them off.
This week a man by the name of Bill Jenkins has purchased the car number and owner points associated with Jack Roush’s fifth Sprint Cup team. Roush as we know was forced to cut one of his teams this season as Nascar has a rule that limits teams to just four full-time cars.
Fans are livid because now a team that has no previous starts in Nascar basically has come in and bought a right to start for the first five races in 2010, and I must admit I side with the fans on this one. How does Nascar justify teams selling their owner point spot to other teams?
This isn’t the first time this has happened either. Penske Racing if you remember swapped points between Kurt Busch and Sam Hornish Jr., because Busch had the past champion provisional in his possession. These kind of changes have become a common practice in NASCAR lately.
In my opinion if a team decides to give up it’s spot in the top 35 of owner points, the 36th place team should take their spot and so on if more teams fold. Instead of letting teams cherry pick which ones they want to put in the top 35. I mean think about it… If you were Roush Racing who would you want in the top 35? A brand new team like Jenkins’ who hasn’t even announced a driver or a team like Red Bull Racing with a known driver like Scott Speed behind the wheel?
NASCAR definitely needs to look at this as most startup teams last a single season, while these other teams fight for years for a shot at the top 35, but get behind in the first five events of the season.
NASCAR has promised to listen to fans and teams in order to improve the product on track… Well Nascar, fans are very loud on this topic. Please for the integrity of the sport open your ears.