Pointless Rule

Sam Hornish, Jr. sure got an early Christmas present.

Thanks to team owner Roger Penske's decision to swap points from Kurt Busch's No. 2 entry with the new No. 77 ride Hornish will pilot during his Sprint Cup rookie season in 2008, the former open wheel star has a guaranteed spot in the first five races next season.

Since Busch is a former champion, he's automatically in six races thanks to the past champion's provisional rule, and able to use that free pass should he not qualify his way in early next year.

And all is well at Penske Racing.

It's a sham in my book and a rule NASCAR should eliminate immediately.

NASCAR has already alienated many fans with the controversial Top 35 rule, giving drivers in the first 35 spots of the point standings a guaranteed position in the field no matter how poorly he qualifies.

The ability to swap points is another slap in the face to several teams and drivers trying to make their way into races.

Hornish is the beneficiary of this charitable policy and will not have to prove himself as a complete driver - first qualifying his way into an event and then racing - like so many other smaller team and rookie pilots will have to do next season.

Make no mistake, Penske and Hornish are doing nothing wrong. They are simply taking advantage of this ridiculous rule, which was "signed off" by NASCAR last week.

It's unfair and again points out what so many fans have voiced themselves this season - NASCAR is much more concerned about the business of the sport than any actual competition.

Giving teams and sponsors free rides into fields rather than earning a spot is good business I guess.

But it doesn't say much for the the competition side of things does it?

Merry Christmas Sam.

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