Sunday, September 28, 2003

Points are OK with Newman


Driver not bothered by NASCAR's system

Enquirer news services

TALLADEGA, Ala. - This year, Ryan Newman has won seven races to Matt Kenseth's one, but Kenseth and three other drivers are ahead of Newman in the standings.

If NASCAR used the CART series' points system, Newman would be leading Kenseth 219-215. Under the Formula One's points system, Newman would be up 92-83. But NASCAR's points system rewards consistent drivers over drivers who win one week and crash the next.

Only four times in the last 10 years has the driver who won the most races also won the title (Jeff Gordon in 1995, '97, '98 and '01). Last year, Kenseth won the most races (five) but finished eighth.

"I'm not mad at NASCAR about the points system or anything else," Newman said. "It's the same system that we had last year, and nobody had any problem with it then. Matt Kenseth has done an awesome job at what he's doing. We've missed on some things, and they count all 36 races, not 30."

EARNHARDT ACHING: Dale Earnhardt not only will have to deal with coming from the back of the pack to win today, he'll also have to deal with an aching body. Earnhardt severely sprained his right foot and lapsed into unconsciousness with a mild concussion in a crash last week at Dover.

Earnhardt said his head feels fine, but his foot is still sore.

"A bunch of tendons are torn," he said. "It needs to be immobile in order to heal. I really shouldn't even be walking on it that much."

NASCAR today

Race: EA Sports 500, Talladega, Ala.

Time/TV: 2 p.m./Ch. 5, 22.

Track: Talladega Superspeedway (tri-oval, 2.66 miles, 33 degrees banking in turns).

Point standings

1. Matt Kenseth 4,158
2. Kevin Harvick 3,722
3. Jimmie Johnson 3,685
4. Dale Earnhardt Jr. 3,668
5. Ryan Newman 3,578




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