Bump and Run: Should NASCAR have a race with double points?

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Would it make sense for NASCAR to run a double points race as IndyCar does? How about making NASCAR’s regular season finale — which is at Daytona next year — a double points race to give more teams a final chance to make the playoffs?

Dustin Long: I’m not a fan of this when teams had 25 races to put themselves in a playoff position before the regular season finale. With the regular season finale at Daytona, I don’t think the sport needs any more gimmicks for that race.

Daniel McFadin: In the “win and you’re in” era of NASCAR, I think this would only work if more than one position paid extra points in this scenario. If this applied to the top five positions that might make for a thrilling conclusion to a race at Daytona.

Jerry Bonkowski: Instead of Daytona, I’d like to see double points available in the championship race at Phoenix next year. However, that would require NASCAR to change the playoff format and make points count in the final race, which currently is not the case. The race winner or the highest-finishing driver of the final four contenders is crowned champion. If NASCAR would change the final round format and NOT reset the points entering that race —as well as make it a six- or eight-driver field — I believe it would heighten interest to NASCAR fans who, right now, may not be interested in the season finale if their driver isn’t one of the four finalists. If there are six or eight drivers vying for points to win the championship in the final race, it would only enhance the experience for fans and drivers. We have seen what double points have done to heighten interest in the IndyCar finale. Why not do it for NASCAR?

Which four will fail to advance to the next round of the Cup playoffs this weekend?

Dustin Long: Erik Jones, Kurt Busch, Clint Bowyer, Alex Bowman

Daniel McFadin: Erik Jones, Alex Bowman, William Byron and Aric Almirola

Jerry Bonkowski: Erik Jones, Alex Bowman, William Byron and Aric Almirola are eliminated after Charlotte. I expect Kurt Busch and Clint Bowyer – even though they’re both currently below the cut line, but are very good road course racers – to rally at Charlotte, have strong finishes and advance to the second round.

Will Martin Truex Jr. sweep the first round of the playoffs?

Dustin Long: I’ll take the field. Truex’s two-race winning streak ends this weekend.

Daniel McFadin: Truex and Cole Pearn have unfinished business with the Roval, so I don’t think they’ll be taking a breather with his race. I would not be surprised to the see them complete the hat trick.

Jerry Bonkowski: If Jimmie Johnson doesn’t take him out on the last turn of the race again, yes. That’s obviously a joke, folks. But seriously, Truex is so hot right now that I could easily see him win at Charlotte and continue that streak through his home track at Dover next week. Truex is on a role and will fight for every extra stage and playoff point he can get. Even if he doesn’t win at Charlotte, you know he’ll go for the jugular at Dover to get a win out of the way early and quickly advance to the Round of 8. He’s in the driver’s seat right now.