Since NASCAR’s founding in 1949, no premier-series driver has claimed the championship without at least once race win. But two of the surviving eight Chase drivers -- Matt Kenseth and Ryan Newman – are currently winless, just one race away from potentially racing for the championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
“We’d be fine (with a winless champion),’’ said France Tuesday on Sirius XM NASCAR Radio’s Sirius XM Speedway. “That could happen in any format that we have. Pick any format that we’ve had in the past or may try in the future, (and) we may be in that situation. You can have teams in other sports with losing records in the regular season win the Super Bowl or the World Series. That happens. To some people it doesn’t feel right, (but) it’s a balanced format, and that’s exactly the way it should be.
“Points matter a lot,” said France. “They mattered coming out of Talladega. They mattered in the first segment and they’re certainly going to matter on Sunday."
France said the sanctioning body put plenty of thought into the new format, settling on a system that rewarded both wins and consistency.
“We thought it was too much about points racing and wins should mean more. I think we’ve struck the right balance. We like what we see, and it’s elevating the racing. That’s our No. 1 goal.’’