"We wanted to change things a bit so race winners get the most benefit," said NASCAR president Bill France. "We don't want consistent mediocrity to get someone in the Chase. Unless that person is named 'Dale.'"
Under the new system, a driver will get a minimum of 43 points and a maximum of 48 points for winning a race. A base of 10,000 points will be given to drivers named 'Dale.'"
"I am really excited about the new points system," said Dale Earnhardt, Jr. "For the first time in years I feel like I have a great chance to win. Not win races, of course. That still seems unlikely. But win the Chase due to my name being 'Dale.'"
NASCAR president France bristled at suggestions the new system will unfairly benefit Earnhardt, one of the circuit's most marketable racers but an historic bust on the track.
"The Earnhardt name has nothing to do with this," said France. "You won't find that name anywhere in our new points system. Only 'Dale.'"
The new changes are expected to present a major challenge for the circuit's champion of the last 5 years.
"I'm not too worried," said Dale Johnson, leaving his local courthouse after legally changing his first name.