This is a list of points scoring systems used to determine the outcome of the NASCAR Championships since 1949. The Championships are awarded each year to the driver who accumulate the most championship points over the course of the Championship season.
- 1 Determined by money
- 2 Determined by mileage
- 3 Equal points per race
- 4 Stage points
- 5 2017 Playoff rules
- 6 See also
- 7 Notes
- 8 References
Determined by money
- Points based on amount of prize money paid.
- 1954–1962: Competitors were awarded points per the old system with additional points awarded per a separate schedule.
- 1963–1965: 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.
- Money (dollars) winnings from track purses (qualifying and contingency awards did not count), multiplied by the number of races started.
- The resulting figure divided by 1,000 determined the number of points earned.
Determined by mileage
- Instead of using money, the championship points now determined by the length of the race.
- There was no special award for race winner, a constant gap of points was used between all ranks.
|< 250 miles||50||49||48||47||46||45||44||43||42||41||40||39||38||37||36||35||34||33||32||31||30||29||28||27||26||25||24||23||22||21||20||19||18||17||16||15||14||13||12||11||10||9||8||7||6||5||4||3||2||1|
|> 399 miles||150||147||144||141||138||135||132||129||126||123||120||117||114||111||108||105||102||99||96||93||90||87||84||81||78||75||72||69||66||63||60||57||54||51||48||45||42||39||36||33||30||27||24||21||18||15||12||9||6||3|
- Championship points were determined by counting racing laps multiplied with a weighting factor.
|Track lap distance||Points per number of laps completed|
|< 1 mile||0.25|
The Winston Cup points system used in 1973 was unique to that year. It was not used prior to that year and has not been used since.
Points were awarded to the top 50 placing drivers in every race, using the following structure:
|Points||100 (+ 25)||98||96||94||92||90||88||...||82||80||78||...||62||60||58||...||2|
Additionally, points for laps completed were awarded per the following schedule:
|Track lap distance||Points per number of laps completed|
|< 1 mile||0.25|
Equal points per race
- In the 1975 season, a new scoring system was introduced, created by Bob Latford. Equal points are awarded in all races, regardless of their length or money.
- Between rank 1 and 6 Starting at 175 there were 5 points gaps, between rank 6 and 11 were 4 points gaps and below rank 11 - 3 points gaps respectively.
- In the point scoring system there were points up to 54th place. These were not all awarded to drivers (drivers points were only awarded to drivers who qualified for a race, so depending on the race and year anywhere from 30-something up to 43 drivers might score points). Points were also awarded to owners, and these were awarded in order of qualifying time to cars which did not qualify for a race (e.g. if 43 cars qualify, and 3 DNQ, those 3 cars would get 40, 37, and 34 points). Owner points were used to determine provisional starting positions, starting order when qualifying is rained out, etc.
- Along with the points based on the finishing position, a driver who leads at least one lap in a race would be credited 5 bonus points. Along with the 5 bonus points, only one driver in a race would receive an additional 5 bonus points for leading the most laps, so the driver who led the most would receive 10 bonus points altogether.
- In 2004 NASCAR introduced a new playoff format, but still using the old points scoring scheme.
- In 2004, 1st place was increased 5 points to 180, and another 5 points in 2007, to 185. So the gap between 1st and 2nd was extended to 10 and then to 15 points respectively.
|Year||1st||2nd||3rd||4th||5th||6th||7th||8th||9th||10th||11th||12th||13th||14th||15th||16th||17th||18th||19th||20th||21st||22nd||23rd||24th||25th||26th||27th||28th||29th||30th||31st||32nd||33rd||34th||35th||36th||37th||38th||39th||40th||41st||42nd||43rd||...||54th||Lead a Lap||Lead the Most Laps|
- In 2010, a new scoring system for 2011 was developed. Equal points are awarded in all races, regardless of their length.
- In contrast to the previous point system, there are only steps of 1 point between all ranks, beginning with 1 point for rank 43.
- The winner automatically receives an additional 3-point bonus for winning a race and the 1 point bonus for leading the final lap. A driver receives 47 points at minimum for winning a race. If a driver leads the most laps and wins, they receive a maximum amount of 48 points.
- In 2014 and 2015, bonus points for laps led and for the win were not awarded to Championship 4 drivers in the season finale, which was the final round of the elimination-style Chase for the Cup format.
|1st||2nd||3rd||4th||5th||6th||7th||8th||9th||10th||11th||12th||13th||14th||15th||16th||17th||18th||19th||20th||21st||22nd||23rd||24th||25th||26th||27th||28th||29th||30th||31st||32nd||33rd||34th||35th||36th||37th||38th||39th||40th||41st||42nd||43rd||Lead a Lap||Lead the Most Laps|
- In 2016, the number of cars were reduced to 40 per race, so the points scoring system was modified to reflect this change.
- The winner automatically receives the 3 points bonus for winning the race and the 1 point bonus for leading the final lap. The winner would normally receive 44 points, with a maximum point total of 45 if the driver led the most laps.
- Championship 4 drivers do not earn bonus points in the championship-deciding season finale. Jimmie Johnson won the 2016 Ford EcoBoost 400 to clinch his seventh championship, and earned only 40 points as a result. Runner-up Kyle Larson received 41 points after two point bonuses for leading a lap and leading the most laps of the race.
|1st||2nd||3rd||4th||5th||6th||7th||8th||9th||10th||11th||12th||13th||14th||15th||16th||17th||18th||19th||20th||21st||22nd||23rd||24th||25th||26th||27th||28th||29th||30th||31st||32nd||33rd||34th||35th||36th||37th||38th||39th||40th||Lead a Lap||Lead the most Laps|
For all series in NASCAR, there is both a drivers and an owners championship, with the system based on finishing positions equal in both championships. Since 2011 in the National Series competition and 2012 in the Regional Series competition, the points system has been a one-point per position system except between the winner and second-place finisher, where the difference is five points. In all series except the Whelen All-American Series, a driver who leads a lap during the race will earn one bonus point (the only place leading counts is the start/finish line). Starting in 2011, drivers must declare which series they will earn championship points and cannot earn points in other series than the one that they have declared. This rule does not apply for owners, as their drivers' finishing positions will score owner points, regardless of the driver being eligible for points in that series or not. If an ineligible driver wins the race, he/she does not score any driver points, but the owner will score 40 (and stage points if the driver scores). Under NASCAR's charter system beginning in 2016, the last place finisher will earn 1 point (previously the last place driver earned 1 point for the 40-car field has been used).
A new NASCAR Point System has been announced for the 2017 season:
For the first time since 1971, the Can-Am Duel qualifying races will become points paying races with the top-10 finishers will earn points.
In the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, there are only 32 competitors, so the last-place driver will receive five points. Teams must submit an entry form to NASCAR 13 days prior to the event with the race's entry fee, or they are deemed ineligible for points.
Points are awarded to the drivers in the first two stages:
- Only for Coca-Cola 600
Points are awarded to drivers and owners in the three national series in the final stage:
2017 Playoff rules
In NASCAR's top three national series, there is a playoff format contested over the final races of the season. When Sprint Nextel was the title sponsor of NASCAR's premiere series it was known as the Chase. Starting in 2017 it is simply known as the playoffs.
The points leader at the end of the regular season will advance to the playoffs, along with the Top 15 drivers with the most wins over the first 26 races qualify for the Playoffs provided they finish in the Top 30 in driver points and attempted to qualify for every race. A driver may be exempt from the requirement to start every race if he has to miss races because of injuries, is on family leave, or under extenuating circumstances by NASCAR.
If there are fewer than 15 different race winners in the first 26 races, the remaining positions will be determined by drivers highest in points standings. All ties will be broken by drivers' point standings.
Drivers who qualify for the playoffs will have their points reset to 2,000 points, along with one point for each stage won during the regular season, and five points for each race win. Also, more bonus points for Top-10 in points standings at the end of the regular season: 1st place in regular season points earns 15 playoff bonus points in addition to the points earned with race or stage wins; 2nd place earns 10 playoff points; 3rd place: 8; 4th place: 7; 5th place: 6; 6th place: 5; 7th place: 4; 8th place: 3; 9th place: 2 and 10th place: 1.
Advancement model during the Playoffs
- The first three races of the Playoffs (27–29) will be known as the Round of 16, races 30–32 will be known as the Round of 12, races 33–35 will be the Round of 8, and race No. 36 will be the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Championship.
- In the first two years of the Playoffs, the rounds were known as the Challenger, Contender, and Eliminator Round, but those names were dropped for 2016.
- The number of championship drivers in contention for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship will decrease after every three Playoff races, from 16 to start; 12 after Playoff race 3; eight after Playoff race 6; and four after Playoff race 9.
- After the first cut (Race 29), the 12 drivers that remain will have their points reset at 3,000 at the start of Race 30. After the second cut (Race 32), the top eight drivers will have their points reset to 4,000 at the start of Race 33. After the third cut (Race 35), the top four drivers will have their points reset to 5,000 at the start of Race 36.
- Starting in 2017, stage wins earn 1 playoff point which will be added to each driver's total with a race win earning 5 playoff points. Further, the regular season champion will receive 15 bonus playoff points with, second place driver in regular season standings earning 10 playoff points, and the third place driver earning 8 playoff points, and each subsequent drivers in the top 10 earning a descending number of points with the tenth place driver in regular season standings earning 1 playoff point. These points will be added to each drivers total and carry through the first three rounds of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series playoff and the first two rounds of the NASCAR Xfinity Series & NASCAR Camping World Truck Series playoffs.
- A win by a championship-eligible driver in any Playoff race automatically clinches the winning driver a spot in the next playoff round.
- The Xfinity Series Chase will only have 12 drivers and 3 rounds consisting of 7 total races. The Camping World Truck Series Playoffs will only have 8 drivers, with 2 drivers eliminated after each round.
- Drivers that miss the cut at the end of each elimination race will race for fifth place in the NASCAR Cup Series standings.
- After the first cut, eliminated drivers will keep their points after Race 29, and accumulate points for the remaining seven races, with points added to points as of Race 29.
- For subsequent cuts, the eliminated driver's base score reverts to the start of the Playoffs (Race 27), and points earned in each race ( in Races 27-35) will be accumulated and added to the driver's base score.
- The driver highest in points of the 12 eliminated drivers at the end of the 36th race will finish fifth. Positions 5-16 will be determined by the driver's base score at the start of the Playoffs and all points accumulated in the final ten races.
Four drivers will enter the 36th and final race of the season, the NASCAR Cup Championship, currently at the Homestead-Miami Speedway. Official finishing position alone will decide the champion. No bonus points will be awarded to championship-contending teams for a lap led or for most laps led. Also, the race winner, should he be a Championship Four driver, will score only 40 points for the win, not 44 or 45 (if they lead the most laps). The 3 other championship contenders will score the minimum for their position (35 points-1 point).
A driver and/or team not in the Championship Four who wins will score the full 44 (or 45) points for the win and be eligible for bonus points (maximum:60), since final points will count towards season-ending bonus and ensuing season plan money, along with season-commencing provisional status.
- List of American Championship car racing point scoring systems
- List of Formula One World Championship points scoring systems
- Automobile Racing Club of America#Points scoring system
- White, Rea (June 6, 2014). "NASCAR makes changes to points, Chase". FoxSports.com. Fox Sports Interactive Media, LLC. Retrieved May 1, 2015.
- "NASCAR announces Chase for the Sprint Cup format change". NASCAR.com. Official NASCAR Release. January 30, 2014. Retrieved May 1, 2015.
- "nascar.com – HOW NASCAR DRIVER POINTS ARE AWARDED PER RACE". Retrieved 2017-04-27.
- "jayski.com – NASCAR Current Points System and Points System History". Retrieved 2017-04-28.