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NASCAR confirms points change talks

Mike HeltonNASCAR president Mike Helton has confirmed that changes to a new simpler points system could be announced over the coming days.

Helton said that a possible new points system is currently being discussed by officials, as NASCAR looks set to change the current one which has been in place since 1975. No updates on possible changes to the play-off format were discussed by Helton, though.

"Where we're at today is we're in the middle of the conversations, asking or actually telling our competitors where our mind is," Helton said.

"The goal has been for several years to have a more simple points system. If you look at all motorsports and even other sports as well, at times it's complicated, and even for us, we have occasionally to go to the rulebook and look at what position got what points.

"The goal for some time has been to create a points system that is easy to understand, easy to explain, easy to be talked about but also be credible at the end of the season.

"So it's a function of taking the current one that establishes the criteria for credibility, because of the length and the time we've used it more than anything, and come up with one that you can sit down and have a conversation with someone and say 'what do you think about this' and them say 'well that's pretty simple.'"

Helton said NASCAR is pondering different ways of rewarding race winners more through bonus points. The changes in the points system being studied would apply to all NASCAR national series if put into effect.

"Our goal was to make it simple, so we start there," said Helton. "I think we have a model or actually several that accomplish that. But we get to the one that makes it simple. We can continue enhancing the attention and the appetite to win by bonus points and how we apply those to a basic simple structure to start with.

"We can also do things with the events themselves, the field that goes into the Chase, the Chase events to continue to encourage and put appetite on winning races, but the points models start off with a simple system. We can accomplish the attention to winning with bonus points and other pieces."

Helton also confirmed drivers competing in the Nationwide and Sprint Cup series may only contend for one championship, which prevents most Cup regulars from winning the title in the second-tier series. For the past five years, drivers from NASCAR's top series have won the Nationwide title.

NASCAR's vice president of competition Robin Pemberton said the possible implementation of fuel injection is progressing well, but there are no plans to race with the system in 2011.

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