NASCAR Points System

Since NASCAR began in 1948, their point system has been shrouded in mystery and confusion. OK, not quite, but the association does publish their rules and regulation books exclusively for NASCAR members, and are not made available to the public. Until now! (Just kidding – many of the rules have been made public by the media.) In 2011, NASCAR adjusted the championship points system to make it more easily understandable and streamlined. Here’s the rundown…

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NASCAR Points System For 2013 Explained

1. First place receives 43 points, second places receives 42, third place receives 41 points, and so on and so forth.

2. Sprint and Nationwide races have a maximum of 43 cars, so the 43rd place car receives one point with a full field. Camping World races have a maximum of 36 cars, so the last finisher receives eight points with a full field. Drivers who fail to qualify receive no points; however, owner points are awarded for all qualifying attempts.

3. All drivers who lead at least one lap receive one bonus point. The driver who leads the most laps receives one additional bonus point.

4. The race winner receives an additional three bonus points, so the winner will receive a total of either 47 or 48 points.

5. Lap leadership is determined at the start/finish line at the end of each lap. A driver cannot simply lead part of a lap somewhere on the track; the driver must be the first across the start/finish line to be considered the leader for that lap.

6. Drivers’ points are assigned to the driver who starts the race. The driver may be changed between qualifying and the race, but the new driver will be forced to start from the back of the field.

Championship Points System Chart


1st 43
2nd 42
3rd 41
4th 40
5th 39
6th 38
7th 37
8th 36
9th 35
10th 34
11th 33
12th 32
13th 31
14th 30
15th 29
16th 28
17th 27
18th 26
19th 25
20th 24
21st 23
22nd 22
23rd 21
24th 20
25th 19
26th 18
27th 17
28th 16
29th 15
30th 14
31st 13
32nd 12
33rd 11
34th 10
35th 9
36th 8
37th 7
38th 6
39th 5
40th 4
41st 3
42nd 2
43rd 1

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