Have top fives and tens become irrelevant?

Formerjackman

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Something about racing has been bothering me lately and last night I was finally able to put my finger on it. As I was watching Chase Elliott score a fine second place finish, I realized that unlike in the past, I just didn't care very much. With all the emphasis on wins and stage points, who CARES how many top fives you have? I noticed too that the official NASCAR standings chart doesn't even LIST top fives and tens any longer. In the past, obviously you wanted your guy to win the race, but you KNEW that championships were built on all of those other good finishes, and now, especially if you have a win in the bag, do they really matter all ALL? In times past, Chase's finish would have had me smiling all week. Now I just sort of shrug my shoulders and say "OK, that was nice' and shut off the TV and wait for next week's race. It just seems like all I'm doing now is passing time until the playoffs start, and I feel like I'm getting cheated out of much of the enjoyment I used to draw from the weekly battles. Thoughts, opinions?
 

superchuck500

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Jokes aside, I know what you mean. Wins are just so much more the focus now, but it is racing after all - maybe that’s how it should be. But those top 5’s and 10’s matter. Just think of how much better they feel than running outside the top 20. Some good cars ran outside the top 20 at Homestead - I’m sure those fans don’t feel nearly as good as you do about Chase’s second place.
 

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You're 100% right but you're going to be told "suck it up it's [the current year]".

They still matter a little bit... insofar as it can get you to the Championship Roulette 500.
 

AdoubleU24

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Something about racing has been bothering me lately and last night I was finally able to put my finger on it. As I was watching Chase Elliott score a fine second place finish, I realized that unlike in the past, I just didn't care very much. With all the emphasis on wins and stage points, who CARES how many top fives you have? I noticed too that the official NASCAR standings chart doesn't even LIST top fives and tens any longer. In the past, obviously you wanted your guy to win the race, but you KNEW that championships were built on all of those other good finishes, and now, especially if you have a win in the bag, do they really matter all ALL? In times past, Chase's finish would have had me smiling all week. Now I just sort of shrug my shoulders and say "OK, that was nice' and shut off the TV and wait for next week's race. It just seems like all I'm doing now is passing time until the playoffs start, and I feel like I'm getting cheated out of much of the enjoyment I used to draw from the weekly battles. Thoughts, opinions?
Yeah I'm with you. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that his team has shown they can win anywhere so expectations are a little higher now, but yes in years past I would've been thrilled with 2nd. Now it's just whatever, and I'm sour with anything but a win. He's creeping up on the points lead with only 1 win tho so that's pretty impressive.

I think more than anything for me, it's this playoff format. With each win thay slips away you see those 5 bonus points slipping away with it, and you know without those you likely aren't making it to the final 4.
 

Speedbowl14

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It does not matter for the top dozen or so guys out there- the KyBu's, Chase Elliot's, and Martin Truex's of the sport.

It is still huuuuge for the other 3/4ths of the field. As a Ryan Preece fan it's been a lot of fun watching him and the mid-packers he runs with get the occasional top 10 finish. Trust me, if Preece finished 2nd as Chase Elliot did I'd of celebrated so hard I'd still be sleeping today ;)
 

Speedbowl14

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Also you could look at it like this- everyone in the field wants a "win" and what that is depends on where you run- it's all relative.

In a typical season, Kevin Harvick might get three 1st place finishes- wins for that team.

Austin Dillon might get three top 5s- "wins" for that team.

Bubba might get three top 15s- "wins" for that team.

And it keeps going. Heck 15 years ago there were teams that would attempt 30+ races a season and if they qualified for the "big dance" on Sunday 5 times or so they'd be ecstatic!
 

Formerjackman

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Also you could look at it like this- everyone in the field wants a "win" and what that is depends on where you run- it's all relative.

In a typical season, Kevin Harvick might get three 1st place finishes- wins for that team.

Austin Dillon might get three top 5s- "wins" for that team.

Bubba might get three top 15s- "wins" for that team.

And it keeps going. Heck 15 years ago there were teams that would attempt 30+ races a season and if they qualified for the "big dance" on Sunday 5 times or so they'd be ecstatic!

I understand 100% what you are saying and don't really disagree, but if you are a fan of one of the top 10 or so drivers which probably 75% of the fans are, there just doesn't seem to be much at stake week to week, especially after they have notched a win. Other than more wins, what are you REALLY racing for? Chase's 2nd place finish didn't excite me much more than a 15th would have, and I don't WANT to feel like that.
 

Jorge De Guzman

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Unlike the Winston Cup Points system, top 5’s and top 10’s “a good points day” don’t win you a championship. It’s all about stage wins, playoff points and wins that get you to the Phoenix Bowl for the opportunity at a Championship. To me, the importance of a top 5 and Top 10 are a lost art in today’s racing world except for our Pick Em Game and RFF League
 

aunty dive

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I understand 100% what you are saying and don't really disagree, but if you are a fan of one of the top 10 or so drivers which probably 75% of the fans are, there just doesn't seem to be much at stake week to week, especially after they have notched a win. Other than more wins, what are you REALLY racing for? Chase's 2nd place finish didn't excite me much more than a 15th would have, and I don't WANT to feel like that.
It saddens me that you don't understand why people go to the track every weekend to compete with their peers.
 

gnomesayin

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Since the day the stage points system was announced, I've objected to the reality that it is more valuable to run 3rd for the first half of the race and finish 15th (38 points) than to run 15th for the first half of the race and finish 3rd (34 points). Never in the history of motorsports...

Top fives and top tens have never had any official meaning, but they were rewarded via the points system. I would welcome a change that restored the practical importance of race finishes over early race performance.
 

StandOnIt

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It's definitely wrapped around the playoffs and the all important playoff points. Drivers who win the race and stages get the valuable play off points that bridge the gap to keep them in the GAME if they have a bad race or two while in the playoffs. And I am not sure that is exactly how it all works because the system is so complicated. Probably easier without a whole paragraph by the OP to say I hate the CHASE. The points system is a convoluted mess as it is now.

It ends up being a love hate thing. I believe they race harder than before so they can get stage points, but the downside is the convoluted points system.
 

Greg

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I get the point and it a very worthy one.
But I still think top fives and tens count, and that disregarding them is naive.

The all or nothing approach is over glamorized imo, and in spite of the talk that isn't a real approach. I realize some may BS themselves into thinking that's they way they operate but I still think they are wrong.

In most alI cases I think a winner becomes a top 10 type first, then a top 5, then a top 3 and finally a winner. I remember Childress once saying preperation meets opportunity. And I think you have to become a top three to seize most of the winning opportunities some call luck. You might be running 20th and use pit strategy to win rain shortened race but those cases are rare.

It may seem like I missing the end result point of the thread but I would disagree. Racing results usually happen in steaks as well. They call it momentum but the winning teams thrive on the confidence that comes from routinely running up front.

All or nothing sounds good and better than a slow build. I just think the idea is overplayed.
 

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Someone with access to stats maybe look up who has the most top 5's each season since this stage racing deal. I would wager the champ each year had the most top 5's and top 10's of anyone else and the other 3 guys with him at Homestead who themselves were probably not that far behind on that stat.
 

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....except probably Jimmie Johnson in 2016. That was the luckiest championship of the stage racing era.

Edited - just checked and 2016 was the last year before stage racing o_O
 

StandOnIt

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Someone with access to stats maybe look up who has the most top 5's each season since this stage racing deal. I would wager the champ each year had the most top 5's and top 10's of anyone else and the other 3 guys with him at Homestead who themselves were probably not that far behind on that stat.
I'm not going back that far, but without looking, I'll post up a couple of three of the last years and we can put it to the test
Last year:
1592244608798.png

2018
1592244696764.png
\
2017
1592244777227.png
 

gnomesayin

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It is reductive to state that the champion should be the driver with the most top fives and / or top tens. This is not necessarily true. The classic Latford system was flawed and did not reward winning and top five performance enough. The current system certainly rewards race wins, as it should. My objection is the way the stage points skew the standings in favor of those who run up front early in races, often at the expense of those who overcome problems to finish well.

No matter the system, the season's best teams are usually going to land at the top of the standings. Usually. That doesn't mean that the particulars of the system don't matter.
 
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StandOnIt

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Someone with access to stats maybe look up who has the most top 5's each season since this stage racing deal. I would wager the champ each year had the most top 5's and top 10's of anyone else and the other 3 guys with him at Homestead who themselves were probably not that far behind on that stat.

Look what happened to Harvick and Kyle in 2018, that is way lopsided, but the others are pretty close to your post in a general way.
 

Formerjackman

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I would like to take a minute to clarify a few points; First off, I'm not talking about how the drivers or the teams to the approach the races. I'm sure the 9 team was thrilled to finish second, and feel better than if they had finished third. Secondly, I'm not surprised that the the top guys in the playoffs generally have the most top fives and tens, thats a function of them being the best performing teams overall, but my point is that those finishes are almost coincidental. Until the third round of the playoffs, they are not really important, and not really the reason that team is IN that position. Say driver X wins a race or two early in the season, and then wins a few stages here and there, but finishes 11th EVERY week. Driver X is in the playoffs, and if driver X keeps up those 11ths, he is almost guaranteed to make the third round. Only THEN are top 5 or top 10 finishes actually rewarded in this system, assuming you don't win one of the three third round races, you can point your way into the final. So this is basically what I'm saying: In the case of Chase Elliott, he has his win, he has already racked up more stage wins than he had all last year, and barring a total collapse, he is an almost shoe in to advance to the final 8, so until the playoffs start, why should I even care where he finishes short of a win?
 

StandOnIt

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I would like to take a minute to clarify a few points; First off, I'm not talking about how the drivers or the teams to the approach the races. I'm sure the 9 team was thrilled to finish second, and feel better than if they had finished third. Secondly, I'm not surprised that the the top guys in the playoffs generally have the most top fives and tens, thats a function of them being the best performing teams overall, but my point is that those finishes are almost coincidental. Until the third round of the playoffs, they are not really important, and not really the reason that team is IN that position. Say driver X wins a race or two early in the season, and then wins a few stages here and there, but finishes 11th EVERY week. Driver X is in the playoffs, and if driver X keeps up those 11ths, he is almost guaranteed to make the third round. Only THEN are top 5 or top 10 finishes actually rewarded in this system, assuming you don't win one of the three third round races, you can point your way into the final. So this is basically what I'm saying: In the case of Chase Elliott, he has his win, he has already racked up more stage wins than he had all last year, and barring a total collapse, he is an almost shoe in to advance to the final 8, so until the playoffs start, why should I even care where he finishes short of a win?
That isn't entirely true. Finishing high in the races adds to playoff points, and like this year with a Bristol that is the third in the first round of the playoffs, followed by Dega two races later, if a driver has enough playoff points over the season he has a much better chance of surviving to another round than an 11th place driver.
 

Revman

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I don't care about the points--except Manufacturers Points. I care about MY Toyota wins and finishes--especially at Homestead. I love this sport.
 

aunty dive

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I would like to take a minute to clarify a few points; First off, I'm not talking about how the drivers or the teams to the approach the races. I'm sure the 9 team was thrilled to finish second, and feel better than if they had finished third. Secondly, I'm not surprised that the the top guys in the playoffs generally have the most top fives and tens, thats a function of them being the best performing teams overall, but my point is that those finishes are almost coincidental. Until the third round of the playoffs, they are not really important, and not really the reason that team is IN that position. Say driver X wins a race or two early in the season, and then wins a few stages here and there, but finishes 11th EVERY week. Driver X is in the playoffs, and if driver X keeps up those 11ths, he is almost guaranteed to make the third round. Only THEN are top 5 or top 10 finishes actually rewarded in this system, assuming you don't win one of the three third round races, you can point your way into the final. So this is basically what I'm saying: In the case of Chase Elliott, he has his win, he has already racked up more stage wins than he had all last year, and barring a total collapse, he is an almost shoe in to advance to the final 8, so until the playoffs start, why should I even care where he finishes short of a win?
He cares.

And he doesn’t care that you don’t.
 

NASCAR Apologist

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tenor.gif


Regular season points MATTER.

Y'all will NOT remember this...but Kyle "Damn" Busch beat jeoy Logano by 7 points at the Phoenix cutoff last year. Guess what? Kyle had 15 regular season bonus points and Joey had 10 from finishing 1st and 2nd in the regular season. If that;s flipped and Joey wins the regular season K"D"B isn't the 2019 champ. Huge implicatins when you think about it.

Have a great day...if you want to.
 

Formerjackman

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tenor.gif


Regular season points MATTER.

Y'all will NOT remember this...but Kyle "Damn" Busch beat jeoy Logano by 7 points at the Phoenix cutoff last year. Guess what? Kyle had 15 regular season bonus points and Joey had 10 from finishing 1st and 2nd in the regular season. If that;s flipped and Joey wins the regular season K"D"B isn't the 2019 champ. Huge implicatins when you think about it.

Have a great day...if you want to.

Granted, but if Kyle finished better in the playoff races leading up to it, or wins ones of the races, it's moot. What I'm saying is that if you perform well enough in the right part of the playoffs, the regular season finishes become ALMOST meaningless. Not entirely, but close. I guess I'm just an old dinosaur that LIKED the 36 week grind of a traditional points battle. Everybody used to hate how the 48 team seemed to be cruising all summer waiting for the Chase to start. What we have now feels like that to me, only worse.
 

aunty dive

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As a consumer of the industry he works in, he damn well SHOULD care.
He’s not stupid.

He and his peers realize that it isn’t possible to convince skeptical fans that they’re actually racers. You’re supposed to know what that word means.

It seems rather odd that 3 of them have won twice and Hamlin has three wins. What’s up with that? Why weren’t they all “cruising ... waiting for the chase to start?”
 

Charlie Spencer

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Since the day the stage points system was announced, I've objected to the reality that it is more valuable to run 3rd for the first half of the race and finish 15th (38 points) than to run 15th for the first half of the race and finish 3rd (34 points). Never in the history of motorsports...

Top fives and top tens have never had any official meaning, but they were rewarded via the points system. I would welcome a change that restored the practical importance of race finishes over early race performance.
I've objected to being able to run top 5 all the way through 35 races, and still lose the championship running 2nd in the 36th race.
 

KTMLew01

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Unlike the Winston Cup Points system, top 5’s and top 10’s “a good points day” don’t win you a championship. It’s all about stage wins, playoff points and wins that get you to the Phoenix Bowl for the opportunity at a Championship. To me, the importance of a top 5 and Top 10 are a lost art in today’s racing world except for our Pick Em Game and RFF League
I miss Mark Martin, Bill Elliott, Harry Gant & Matt Kenseth type racers. Raced hard but clean. Bring it back in one piece. Now we stuck with disrespectful punks like KDB & Logano. Never understood why the field doesn't have a drawing every week to see who wrecks Logano. End his race every week. Every week. Hate that guy. He's douchebag.
 

Jorge De Guzman

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I miss Mark Martin, Bill Elliott, Harry Gant & Matt Kenseth type racers. Raced hard but clean. Bring it back in one piece. Now we stuck with disrespectful punks like KDB & Logano. Never understood why the field doesn't have a drawing every week to see who wrecks Logano. End his race every week. Every week. Hate that guy. He's douchebag.
Yeah today's racing has grown on me with the stages and all that, so there's a sense of perceived urgency for the green flag. Its funny but I just posted in the other thread about the car numbers about how I was a traditionalist when it comes to my race viewing experience, I really prefer watching a Mark Martin or Matt Kenseth lay back at the start, see what they had in terms of equipment for the day and then watch their teams work on the car through out a hot sticky day at say Michigan and then be there at the end battling for the win wondering where the hell this guy was all day. Even Jeff Gordon in his magical 98 season sometimes Ray had to work on the car all day to get it to that last pit stop and then a two tire change...... look up to see the 24 in VL. Good times.
 

Charlie Spencer

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Raced hard but clean. Bring it back in one piece. Now we stuck with disrespectful punks like KDB & Logano. Never understood why the field doesn't have a drawing every week to see who wrecks Logano.
Wait a minute. First you say you like clean drivers, and then you say you want everyone to take turns racing dirty against Logano. Kenseth's intentional take-out of Logano is the stuff of legends.

This seem contradictory to me.
 

Jorge De Guzman

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Wait a minute. First you say you like clean drivers, and then you say you want everyone to take turns racing dirty against Logano. Kenseth's intentional take-out of Logano is the stuff of legends.

This seem contradictory to me.
The Punk kid Logano deserves to be roughed up according to some ha ha. I steered cleared of that in my response.
 

aunty dive

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I've objected to being able to run top 5 all the way through 35 races, and still lose the championship running 2nd in the 36th race.
Perhaps you should have taken care to accumulate a few more points during the regular season rather than stroking around every week waiting for the playoffs
 

KTMLew01

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Wait a minute. First you say you like clean drivers, and then you say you want everyone to take turns racing dirty against Logano. Kenseth's intentional take-out of Logano is the stuff of legends.

This seem contradictory to me.
There is exactly enough teams to take Logano out once each. Leaves him ONE race finish. I felt this way back when Dale Sr was being a douchebag.
 
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