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IndyCar adjusts point structure for 2014

Mar 20, 2014, 5:37 PM EDT

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NASCAR overhauled its Chase for the Cup this winter and Formula One added double points for the season finale at Abu Dhabi.

IndyCar, which had had its title go down to the final round of the championship in a pure, unaffected format since 2006, has now joined the points-changing party.

The Verizon IndyCar Series’ three 500-mile races at Indianapolis, Pocono and Fontana will all have double points.

A base for the win at the Indianapolis 500, for example, will be 100 points instead of 50, with second 80 (40), third 70 (35), fourth 64 (32) and fifth 60 (30). Points descend by four from there 56-52-48-44-40 down to 10th.

From 11th on back, the single point drop per position (11th-19, 12th-18, etc.) doubles as well. So it goes 38-36-34 and so on and so forth.

Additionally, to go along with the Indianapolis 500 revised qualifying structure, a new points format goes in there, too.

All qualifiers on the first day in spots 1-33 get points in descending order from 33 (first) down to 1 (33rd). On Sunday, when the fast nine is set, 9 points are on offer for the pole sitter and ninth will take home 1 point. A one-point drop per position fills the interim gaps.

In some respects, this counteracts the three double-header street course races that premiered in 2013. Scott Dixon racked up the most points from those six races last year.

There were other changes announced, too.

For manufacturer points, rather than 9 points to the top-scoring driver per manufacturer and 6 to the top driver of the second manufacturer per race, the top five will score per race. That descends 50-40-35-32-30 at the 15 non-500-mile races and 100-80-70-64-60 at the three 500-milers, for cars using one of their four assigned engines throughout the year.

Manufacturers will receive a 10-point award for each of their 2.2-liter, twin-turbocharged V6 engines that reach the 2,500-mile change-out threshold set by INDYCAR for 2014.

Bonus points will be awarded to the manufacturer that leads the most laps (2 points), leads at least one lap (1 point) and earns the Verizon P1 Award (1 point), with the exception of the Indianapolis 500.

Further details on the new engine changeout policy, initially revealed Tuesday on Trackside, were outlined as such:

  • The 10-grid-spot penalty levied on an entry whose engine was changed before it met the mileage threshold or surpassed the mandated number of engines for the season is removed. Instead, 10 points will be deducted from the manufacturer’s total for each occurrence.
  • Entrant-initiated engine change-outs will result in the loss of 10 driver and entrant points.
  • An unapproved engine change-out by an entry will result in it starting from the rear of the grid in the next race. No engine change-out grid penalties will be served during the Indianapolis 500. Penalties carried over into or earned at the Indianapolis 500 will be served at the subsequent race.

  1. indycarseries500 - Mar 20, 2014 at 5:55 PM

    Kind of like the old days where USAC paid points based off mileage.

  2. kitnamania13 - Mar 20, 2014 at 5:55 PM

    I suppose double points makes sense for what are essentially double races. However, the Indy qualifying points payout structure is pure garbage. There should never be a way for the 8th place starter to earn more points than the polesitter.

  3. testover6370 - Mar 20, 2014 at 6:52 PM

    The points system was one thing Indycar had going for it that was an unquestioned success. It produced close championship battles for the past few years without any gimmicks. At least they’re doubling the payout for the most important races and balancing the ovals after the doubleheaders skewed things towards the road and street courses.

  4. manik56 - Mar 21, 2014 at 12:52 AM

    Stupid. Why fix something that isn’t broken? All these gimicks do is delegitimize their own championship. Who comes up with this garbage?

    • midtec2005 - Mar 21, 2014 at 10:21 AM

      I think they are just trying to create buzz, this isn’t necessary though, you’re right about that. In the end the points race will probably still come down to the last race.

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