Old NASCAR system would have stacked title for Kyle Busch

Updated November 22, 2018 - 4:28 pm

If ifs and buts were candy and nuts, Kyle Busch probably would be enjoying Thanksgiving weekend a lot more.

The Las Vegas racer had a season to remember in 2018 before suffering a day to forget, finishing fourth among the four drivers eligible to win a one-race showdown for the NASCAR championship in Homestead, Florida, on Sunday.

Busch won eight races, had 22 top fives, 28 top 10s, led 1,469 laps and signed lots and lots of autographs.

Under the old NASCAR points system, before stage racing and playoffs and a lot of whatnot, Busch would have won the championship with room to spare.

A racing pal says I should get over it, that stage racing and playoffs and a lot of whatnot are here to stay. He’s right, of course. But there’s a guy named Shane Walters who keeps track of new points and old points. And as long as he continues to do so, it’s fun to look at the numbers, because a lot of NASCAR fans still don’t care a whole lot for stage racing and playoffs and a lot of whatnot.

In a world without them, Busch would have sprayed sports drink in victory lane with 1,055 points followed by Kevin Harvick (983), Martin Truex Jr. (966) and Joey Logano (965), who drove around stock car racing’s so-called “Big 3” to win the race and the title in Florida.

Add in stage points, and Busch still wins with 1,418, ahead of Harvick (1,378), Truex Jr. (1,264) and Logano (1,234).

The only scenario in which Busch does not win the title is a one-race showdown.

This is where it probably should be pointed out that were it not for playoffs, the 2001 Seattle Mariners who went 116-46, only to lose to the Yankees in the American League Championship Series, would have been crowned the world champs of baseball around Memorial Day.

Did you happen to notice that the four drivers who raced for the championship under the new NASCAR system would have been the same four under the old one?

Makes you wonder if all the whatnot is even necessary.

Green, white, checkered

— Next week’s NASCAR Champion’s Week in Las Vegas is pretty much down to two days. With burnouts on the Strip and the popular “After the Lap” schmoozing session already having taken place before the playoff opener in Las Vegas, Champion’s Week essentially has been reduced to Wednesday’s Myers Brothers Awards luncheon and Thursday’s black tie awards gala at Wynn Las Vegas. Fans will have limited access to both events. More information is available at www.nascar.com/championsweek.

— According to a Sports Business Daily report, International Speedway Corp. may be trying to acquire the NASCAR tracks operated by Speedway Motorsports Inc. (which owns Las Vegas Motor Speedway). Bringing all the tracks under the same umbrella would make NASCAR more attractive to a new owner, among other things. Neither ISC, owned by the France family, nor SMI officials are commenting.

— Clint Bowyer, when asked by USA Today about which NASCAR driver was most likely to start a fistfight: “These guys aren’t gonna fight. First of all, you don’t know what NASCAR’s gonna do to you if you do fight, but they’re gonna make sure they benefit for years to come off you having a temper tantrum and fighting. They’re gonna have you in commercials for the rest of your career.”

Contact Ron Kantowski at rkantowski@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0352. Follow @ronkantowski on Twitter.

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