Q: Would you please explain the NASCAR Sprint Cup points system? It is supposed to award points based on finishing place on a sliding scale from 43-1 with extra points awarded on certain accomplishments. For some reason, drivers Mike Bliss, who finished 24th, and Joe Nemechek, who finished 40th, both received zero points in the Subway Fresh Fit 500 race on Sunday.
—Jerome Jernigan, Atlanta
A: Bliss and Nemechek can’t earn points in NASCAR Sprint Cup events because they are accumulating points on NASCAR’s Nationwide Tour. Prior to the 2011 season, NASCAR instituted a rule stating that drivers could only earn points in one national series. It was done to keep Sprint Cup drivers from winning titles on other circuits and “also help cultivate new stars on those lower tours,” NASCAR.com senior writer David Caraviello told Q&A on the News in an email. “Drivers can still race in whatever events they want, but they have to declare what series they'll be accumulating championship points in,” Caraviello said. “Joe Nemechek and Mike Bliss have declared for the Nationwide Tour [in 2012], which means they receive zero points in Sprint Cup events.” He said that in the official results, an (i) – which means “ineligible to receive championship points” -- appears next to their names. “The same would be the case for Sprint Cup stars like Kevin Harvick and Brad Keselowski in the Nationwide results. They all do still receive prize money, though,” Caraviello said.
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