Published on January 22nd, 2008 | by Ron Ripple2
The Top 35 Rule Re-Visited?
Have you ever heard of the Top 35 rule? It’s a rule that was set in place back in 2005, that basically secured a starting position for the top 35 teams in the points chase at each race no matter how they qualified. The purpose of this was to make sure that there was competitive racing in the top 35 and even if a team had a bad qualifying round, it still gave them a chance to race and earn points. In my opinion this takes the “TRUE RACING” out of the sport. If 35 out of the 40 starting positions are already taken and there are over 45 teams that come to each race and try to qualify for a starting position. This means that the remaining 10+ teams have to fight for the remaining 5 positions. This could cause a lot of frustrated sponsors, and a lot of drama and doubt for the teams that are showing up not in the top 35.
Here’s what I was thinking… if I sponsored a car for a whole season and my car wasn’t in the top 35… I would be worried sick that they weren’t going to qualify and start each and every race. If my car didn’t make it into each race, then what’s the point of me spending over a $1 mil to sponsor a car for the season? If my car didn’t make it into each race and I was spending that much money I would definitely be throwing some bows. I have a feeling the reason why I don’t sponsor a team is for two basic reasons. 1. I don’t have the money to sponsor a team, and 2. I don’t have the money to sponsor a team.
I have a feeling this is exactly what Jeff Burton was thinking when he brought this up to Brian France the CEO and Chairman of NASCAR. More teams need that comfortable feeling of knowing they are going to have a guaranteed start in each and every race. Jeff Burton proposed that the number be expanded to 43 teams which would still leave a few fighting for the final qualifying positions.
I think it’s a great suggestion and will look forward to seeing what NASCAR does with it. Make sure you keep checking back for my opinion on NASCAR news, events, and drama.