nascar header image

How the NASCAR Points System Works

The NASCAR Nextel Cup series uses its own system of scoring. The NASCAR points system works to help give drivers points based on how well they do, and those points will go into determining who makes it into the Chase for the Cup at the end of each season. Here’s a look at how the NASCAR points system is used.


Winning races is the most important part of getting points in the NASCAR points system. A winner of a race will receive 180 points. If a driver makes it to the Chase for the Cup playoff series then that person will get five additional points for each win, thus making winning even more important in the regular season. Second place gets 170 points, third place gets 160, and lower places get less amounts of points in the NASCAR points system.

Points are given for laps as well. The minimum score in terms of points for a winner is 185, with the next driver getting 170 points. After that points will be spread out by five each from second to sixth place (165 points for third, 160 for fourth, etc.). After the sixth place finisher the points will be spread out by four between sixth and eleventh. After that points are spread by three.

A driver that leads in a race for the most laps will get five extra points to their score, and a maximum of ten points can be allowed based on how many laps the driver leads the race in. Lap leadership for the NASCAR points system is determined at the end of each lap, and the driver that crosses first is the lap leader regardless of how well the driver has done over the course of the race.

In the NASCAR points system points are given to individual drivers. In the case that a replacement driver is needed for someone because of an injury, the replacement driver will not get points but the original driver will.

The NASCAR points system is different compared to what was used in the past. It used to be that instead of a NASCAR points system purses were given out, meaning that drivers could win money for being successful in races and would be the year’s champion based on how much money they won. Generally, points were awarded based on how much money was won. Today points are used and not money as the guidline.

The Chase for the Cup is the last part of the NASCAR points system. This is the newest part of the NASCAR points system, as it works to give the best drivers of the year a closer playing field for the last ten races of the year. The top twelve drivers at the end of the year in terms of points will have their point numbers reset to 5,000 each, with five bonus points to drivers for each win they have. For instance, if Kevin Harvick won three races during the year and made the Chase for the Cup he’d have 5,015 points.

can't get data from Amazon.