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Sports in brief: NASCAR rethinking longtime points system for 2011 season

Autos

nascar rethinking longtime points system for 2011 season

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — NASCAR is considering scrapping the points system it has used since 1975 in favor of a simpler method that awards points per finishing position, the Associated Press reported.

The overhauling of the system is one of a handful of changes NASCAR is considering implementing before the season begins next month.

The sanctioning body wants to go to a scoring system that would award 43 points to the race winner and one point less for each ensuing position down to one point for the 43rd-place finisher.

Teams have been told NASCAR is leaning toward keeping it a 12-driver field for the Chase, with one caveat: The top 10 drivers after the 26th race of the season would qualify for the Chase, while the remaining two spots would go to the drivers with the most wins who are not already eligible.

Preseason testing begins Thursday at Daytona International Speedway, and NASCAR president Mike Helton and vice president of competition Robin Pemberton are scheduled to discuss some of the changes planned for 2011.

More autos

Pocono track moves qualifying days

Pocono Raceway has moved qualifying for both of its Sprint Cup dates this season to Saturday.

The NASCAR track in Long Pond, Pa., shifted away from the traditional Friday date.

The track holds races this season June 12 and Aug. 7. The track will run regular practice sessions on Fridays.

Track president Brandon Igdalsky says the move was made to allow more fans the chance to see the run for the pole position.

Horses

Zenyatta named horse of year

Zenyatta won horse of the year at the Eclipse Awards in Miami Beach, besting Blame, the only horse ever to beat her on the track.

The award caps a remarkable career for the popular Zenyatta, one of the sport's greatest mares. She was 19-0 before losing her final race to Blame in the Breeders' Cup Classic in November.

Zenyatta was runnerup for horse of the year in 2008 and '09. She's now a broodmare at Lane's End Farm in Kentucky.

Olympics

Hamm's comeback plan suffers setback

Gold-medal winning gymnast Paul Hamm said he has a torn labrum in his right shoulder and will have surgery this week. He had hoped to return to competition for the first time since 2008 at next month's Winter Cup, a U.S. ranking meet.

"This is extremely disappointing since I have come so far and was preparing to compete in February," Hamm said. "I fully intend to rehab my shoulder with the goal of making the team and competing in the London Olympics."

ET CETERA

Sailing: Chicago sailor Don Wilson skippered Team Aqua to two first-place wins in the RC 44 class during the initial day of racing at the five-day 2011 Key West sailing regatta off the Florida Keys. Reigning America's Cup skipper Russell Coutts, in Oracle Racing, is tied for second with Vincenzo Onorato's Mascalzone Latino.

Times wires

Sports in brief: NASCAR rethinking longtime points system for 2011 season 01/17/11 [Last modified: Monday, January 17, 2011 11:57pm]

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