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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Tony Stewart speaks to President Obama; simpler points system goes to regional NASCAR series

Here's an email I got from the White House, paraphrasing the conversation Wednesday between Cup champion Tony Stewart and President Obama.

"Earlier today, the President called Tony Stewart to congratulate him and the entire Stewart-Haas Racing team on winning the 2011 Sprint Cup Series Championship and on the incredible season they had. The President said he was impressed that Mr. Stewart was able to come from the back of the pack to edge out Carl Edwards for the win. The President said that the First Lady and Dr. Biden enjoyed being at Homestead for the Ford 400 and how grateful they were to have NASCAR honor military families. The President commended Mr. Stewart and the other drivers for being such positive role models and great ambassadors for NASCAR, and said that he looks forward to congratulating Mr. Stewart in person at the White House next year."

A couple observations:
1. Tony Stewart apparently is a "positive role model"? ... that's obviously written by someone who hasn't read the Rolling Stone profile of him. Nothing against Tony, but with his bad boy image, I'm sure he'd laugh at that description.

2. Tony, ironically, is one of the guys who was too busy to go see Obama at the White House this year. (I'm guessing he'll fit it in next year, since he won the title).

3. Despite the booing, I'm sure Michelle Obama and Jill Biden did have a good time at Homestead. Like I said before, most NASCAR fans are really good people who still show respect to people they don't agree with.

Simplified points system expanded to NASCAR Regional Touring Series

In a move that makes sense to me, NASCAR has announced that the simpler points system it began using this year in Cup, Nationwide and Trucks will be instituted in the regional touring level for 2012.

The points system was easier to understand and there's no reason it shouldn't be expanded to all the series.

Beginning in 2012, the system will be integrated into the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, NASCAR K&N Pro Series West, NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour, NASCAR Canadian Tire Series and NASCAR Mexico Series.

The new structure awards points in 1-point increments. Race winners earn 43 points, plus three bonus points for the win. Drivers also can earn an extra point for leading a lap and leading the most laps, bringing the race-winning total to a possible maximum of 48 points.

All other drivers in a finishing order are separated by one-point increments. A second-place finisher earns 42 points, a third-place driver 41 points, and so on.

“Implementing the simplified points system at the regional touring level will make the points structure consistent with the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series,” said George Silbermann, NASCAR vice president, regional and touring series. “The change at the national level was welcomed in the industry this year and has provided a points system that is much easier for everyone to understand.”

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