Tuesday, January 18, 2011

NASCAR's Ramsey Poston Says Sanctioning Body Needs Input

NASCAR Managing Director of Corporate Communications Ramsey Poston told Sirius NASCAR Radio’s Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody that the sanctioning body is mulling a series of possible changes to its points system and the Chase for the Sprint Cup.

"We’ve been better communicators in recent years,” said Poston, “talking to all our teams in a series of Town Hall Meetings. It’s just conversation, nothing formal; just a chance to get eye-to-eye and talk to our teams about the state of the sport. It’s an opportunity to kick around various ideas that we’ve been thinking about. We don’t want to make important decisions in a vacuum, without talking to teams, track operators and broadcast partners. We want to look at all the possible consequences before making any decisions.”

Poston confirmed that NASCAR is considering a new championship point system awarding 43 points to race winners, with one-point decreases through the field. “It’s a way to simplify the system,” he said. “Some of our longtime fans still have confusion about how the current point system works. It might make sense to simplify things.” He said the new system -– if adopted -– will apply to all three of NASCAR’s National Series.

Poston said feedback from teams has been “very positive, so far. (They) have made suggestions about things we may not have thought about, as well. And since this was first reported last night, our fan base also seems to be embracing the idea.

“If we’re not listening to the people who buy tickets, we’re not going to make any real progress,” said Poston. “We’ve made some common sense changes in the last two or three years that have enabled us to begin moving the (competitive) needle. We had the best racing in our history last year, and we want to build on that. Our core product is the racing, and (if) we can continue to make the racing the best it can be, all the other issues will tend to themselves.”

Poston declined to comment specifically on potential changes to the Chase, saying, “Nothing has been finalized. Our competitors and fans seemed satisfied with how it all turned out last year, but we still have a couple of ideas to work through.”

NASCAR President Mike Helton and Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton are scheduled to take part in a news conference Friday at Daytona International Speedway to address possible changes for 2011, and Chairman and CEO Brian France is expected to make a major announcement during the annual NASCAR Media Tour later this month.

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