Should the Indy 500 account for double points?

INDIANAPOLIS — This has been a topic over the last few years but now that the fan survey results went public prior to the season opener on the streets of St. Pete and how favorable double points for Indy was, it makes one believe that double points aren’t going anywhere anytime soon for this race. They’ll be here to stay.

I get both sides of the coin here. The race is the biggest of the season and should reward more points and money. Why not have this race stand out above the rest? It’s not just another race on the schedule. It’s bigger than that.

So, it should award double points.

Some drivers say, no. Will Power on Thursday was strongly against it saying that the race should be double purse instead of double points. He says the intensity of winning this race wouldn’t matter if you gave 0 points.

However, I can put that quarter and rest it on my thumb and flick it over to the other side and say that it doesn’t merit double points too. Does the Daytona 500 or Monaco Grand Prix award more points than the other races on the NASCAR and F1 schedules respectively? Does the Super Bowl double points scored for touchdowns and field goals?

The problem with double points for Indy is two-fold. One-offs can steal some valuable points from full time entries. Also, it can hide the fact that someone had a bad season but got a top three or four at Indy can nullify some bad results later and keep them in the title race longer. It works reverse to someone who maybe had a heck of a season but didn’t get a top 10 or dare I say top 15 at Indy and cost them valuable points to a championship rival that did.

Indy essentially counts for two races and if you have a bad result, it can make or break your championship hopes down the road. Is that fair?

That’s why I see this on both sides and can see why it’s a debate. For fans, it absolutely adds to the intensity and pressure. That’s a win. For teams though, this race they already want to win at the most, do they need added pressure?

The other part is that we’ve not seen a driver win the championship and the Indy 500 in the same season since 2010. It’s only happened 5 times since the 1996 split at that. So, while winning the Indy 500 with double points now is great, it doesn’t mean a guaranteed title either. No driver has won Indy with double points and won the title in the same year.

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