NASCAR went through a change in format back in 2004 and some people in the profession are still not pleased with it.
Back then, the champion would be the person who had the most points over the course of the season. However, playoffs were introduced in 2004 and the champion is the one who qualifies for the Championship 4 race and wins it. Since 2020, this race has been held at Phoenix.
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After seeing the likes of Dale Earnhardt and Richard Petty dominate the sports, NASCAR decided for a change that would make racing more interesting. However, whether it has than it was in the past remains a debate for people. And one person to feel that the change has not been worthwhile is Bubba Wallace’s spotter, Freddie Kraft.
He is of the opinion that the Series has lost its “luster” due to the change. Speaking in a recent episode of Door, Bumper, Clear!, Kraft said:
“The Championship doesn’t have the same luster it had when it was a season-long battle of Championship. Last year’s championship was decided by a pit-stop.”
By this, he was referring to the Championship 4 race last season.
“Let’s be honest, Kyle Larson won the race on pit road, he won the Championship. The winning 60 races, you talk about the Daytona 500s, I feel like that’s much more prestigious.”
Daytona 500 is already a highly prestigious race but not many would place it above the championship. Similarly, Kraft’s nostalgia for the past might not be shared by the modern community. After all, playoffs add more intrigue to the series and grants chance to a lot more drivers to claim the championship than the points system would allow.