NASCAR simplifies manufacturer points system
Scoring will mirror system used for drivers for all three national series
No. 17 Sprint Cup team hit with P3 penalty
The No. 17 Roush Fenway Racing team of Ricky Stenhouse Jr . was assessed a P3 penalty for a violation at Richmond International Raceway , a punishment that includes the suspension of crew chief Nick Sandler. During opening day inspection, the No. 17 did not meet vehicle safety specifications. According to the penalty report, the steering wheel coupling did not meet the SFI 42.1 specification, which relates to the steering wheel quick disconnect/release. Sandler has been suspended from NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points events through May 4, which entails one race -- this weekend's GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway . Additionally, he was fined $20,000 and is on probation until Dec. 31. Stenhouse, who finished 26th at Richmond, currently sits 19th in the points standings. In addition to the penalty on the No. 17 team, two other teams were issued written warnings for failing pre-race inspection. The No. 48 of Jimmie Johnson failed twice at the template inspection and the No. 14 of Tony Stewart failed twice at the LIS (laser inspection system ) station. Both received a written warning as it was the first offense for each.
France: Collaboration with drivers, council 'better than ever'
NASCAR Chairman & CEO Brian France has gone from Talladega, Alabama, to Los Angeles over the past several days, taking in and sending out a wide view of the sport in the process. France kicked off a Drivers Council meeting at Talladega on Friday, then served on a prestigious speaking panel for sports business leaders in L.A. on Monday The initial stop was well-received by both the drivers and France himself -- the NASCAR Chairman & CEO kicked off the meeting with remarks, and listened to driver discussion on a variety of topics. France also met privately for a one-on-one discussion with driver Tony Stewart , a three-time premier series champion. "The Drivers Council meeting in Talladega was very productive," France told NASCAR.com. "Tony and I also met one-on-one, and it was great to hear his thoughts. I think the key is to build trust with the drivers, and we structured the Council in a way that lets them express their views in a free-flowing manner. "We want them to know that we are listening, trying to understand their issues and that it is important for us to get it right. I think the level of collaboration between us is better than ever." The drivers agree. "It was great Brian came (to the meeting)," Dale Earnhardt Jr . told reporters at Talladega. " … It was just a good, positive meeting, a lot of good things moving in a good direction. ... I think what we are doing is pretty amazing." Stewart, Earnhardt Jr., Kevin Harvick , Joey Logano , Denny Hamlin and Kyle Larson were all on the Drivers Council when it was formed last year, and remain members in 2016. Jimmie Johnson , Brad Keselowski and Kyle Busch are three new members this year, bringing the total council to nine drivers. The sanctioning body strategically shaped criteria for the Drivers Council so a variety of drivers are included. Four spots are automatically filled by performance the previous season -- the top-finishing driver for Chevrolet, Toyota and Ford, plus the top-finishing driver with less than three seasons of experience. The remaining slots are filled by driver votes from the following categories: Two drivers from the top 10 in points from the previous season; one driver from positions 11-20 in points from the previous season; one driver from positions 21-30 in points the previous season; and one driver with the most votes who doesn't fit into the previous categories. A team can have a maximum of two drivers on the Drivers Council. "The meeting on Friday was terrific," NASCAR Executive Vice President and Racing Development Officer Steve O'Donnell reiterated on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. "It was scheduled for an hour and a half and almost went three hours. Brian was there and talked about where we see the sport going, answering a number of questions that the drivers had, and then we had some great exchanges about what we think of the current rules package, some things we may look at in the future. All in all, my perspective, … but I really believe in the process and think it's paying huge benefits for the sport and ultimately the race fans." The Drivers Council is the latest group to be formed within the industry, joining the NASCAR OEM Council, Tracks Council and the Teams Council. The intent of council creation is for better collaboration across the sport, with the manufacturers and teams -- and now, the drivers -- having an avenue for discussion and a process to elevate those discussions to industry leadership. At the Milken Conference days later, France was on a five-person panel for a session called "Stewards of the Game: The Business Leaders Behind Major Sports" that also included former NBA Commissioner David Stern and New England Patriots team owner Robert Kraft. The NASCAR Chairman & CEO answered broad-ranging questions on his family legacy, the successful Daytona Rising project and the importance of digital and social media to reach and engage new fans.
Bowyer: Racing is 'about what you're going to do tomorrow'
KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- Those heat-of-the-moment tirades that fans are able to hear during the course of a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race might be entertaining, but they don't always tell the whole story, according to HScott Motorsports driver Clint Bowyer . "Whether I'm frustrated or happy or whatever … whether it's a (celebration) or a pissed off moment that happens, the wick's pretty short," Bowyer said Thursday at Kansas Speedway , site of Saturday's GoBowling 400 (7:30 p.m. ET, FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). "It burns out in about five minutes. The next thing out of my mouth is 'Alright, now what are we going to do to fix it?' " Bowyer, 36, is in a transition year, spending the 2016 season as driver of the No. 15 Chevrolet for HSM. He'll move over to Stewart-Haas Racing in '17, inheriting the No. 14 ride currently occupied by co-owner/driver Tony Stewart . An early-season start that saw the driver finish inside the top 20 only once in seven races frustrated the eight-time winner, and that frustration often could be heard as he vented to his team on the radio during races. But it's what takes place after the pot has boiled over, he said, that determines what occurs next. "I don't ever care about yesterday or what happened in a practice or a race," he said. "… This sport is all about what you're going to do tomorrow. That's what you have to instill into yourself and everybody around you to be able to go out there and get the job done, compete at the level I know we're capable of competing at for our sponsors and for ourselves." Bowyer hasn't been to victory lane in a Sprint Cup race since the 2012 season, a span of 123 races. He did qualify for last year's Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup based on points earned, but was eliminated in the first round. HScott fields two Sprint Cup teams -- the No. 15 of Bowyer as well as the No. 46 for driver Michael Annett . Bowyer enters this weekend's race 27th in points while Annett is 35th. But two of the last three races have seen Bowyer finish inside the top 10 -- he was eighth at Bristol and seventh most recently at Talladega. "I was struggling to get that kind of consistency where I was last year," he said of his final season at the now-defunct Michael Waltrip Racing. "When you're down, most of the time there's a reason, especially when you're down as far as we' re down. We had work to do; we're starting to get some new waves of cars built, get some things to where we are satisfied with them and excited about bringing them to the track and seeing what our hard work has done. That's all you can do." Anyone should be frustrated, he said, if they felt their performance as a driver or their team's performance wasn't up to par. That doesn't mean a team no longer attempts to improve. "When you're running good, it's easy," Bowyer said. "When you're running bad, it's the hardest thing you've ever done in your life. I don't care what organization you're at or how much depth you have or anything else. It's that simple. … "This is hard. This is a hard business and it's very competitive. If you're good, you better work hard to stay good or you're not going to be there long. If you're bad, you've got to work hard to get caught up."
Townley, Byron, Reddick top Kansas practices
PRACTICE 3: Results After missing out on the top spot during second practice, John Wes Townley locked in the fastest lap in his No. 05 Chevrolet during Thursday's third and final practice at Kansas Speedway (176.980 mph). Right behind Townley was the No. 23 Chevrolet of Spencer Gallagher . The GMS Racing wheelman soared around the track at 176.748 mph. Rounding out the top three was the No. 13 ThorSport Racing Toyota of Cameron Hayley , who climbed to the third spot during the final minutes of the 85-minute session (176.702 mph). The No. 29 Brad Keselowski Racing Ford of Tyler Reddick took fourth at 176.448 mph with the two-time champ Matt Crafton behind him in fifth (176.269 mph) in his No. 88 ThorSport Racing Toyota. The field will return to the 1.5-mile track for Keystone Light Pole Qualifying on Friday at 4:30 p.m. ET. PRACTICE 2: Results In the final minutes of the 55-minute session, William Byron scored the fastest lap during Thursday's second practice at Kansas Speedway . Byron propelled his No. 9 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota around the 1.5-mile track at 176.650 mph. Next was the No. 05 Chevrolet of John Wes Townley who was second-fastest during the practice (176.621 mph). Third-quickest was the defending race winner Matt Crafton in his No. 88 ThorSport Racing Toyota. The two-time NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion posted a quick lap of 176.401 mph. The No. 19 of Daniel Hemric (176.252 mph) and the No. 41 of Ben Rhodes (175.833 mph) were behind Crafton in fourth and fifth, respectively. PRACTICE 1: Results Tyler Reddick soared to the fastest lap in opening NASCAR Camping World Truck Series practice Thursday afternoon at Kansas Speedway . Reddick powered the Brad Keselowski Racing No. 29 Ford to a best lap of 176.137 mph on the 1.5-mile track. He was just .028 seconds faster than defending race winner Matt Crafton , a two-time series champ, who posted the second-fastest lap at 175.976 mph in the ThorSport Racing No. 88 Toyota. Matt Tifft (175.541 mph), John Wes Townley (175.473 mph) and Ben Rhodes (175.444 mph) completed the top five in the opening 55-minute prep session for Friday's Toyota Tundra 250 (8:30 p.m. ET, FS1, MRN, SiriusXM), the series' fourth race of the season. Series points leader John Hunter Nemechek was 17th-fastest in the NEMCO Motorsports No. 8 Chevrolet. Sprint Cup regular Clint Bowyer , making his first start in the series since 2014, was clocked 16th-fastest in the GMS Racing No. 24 Chevrolet.
Allmendinger's Darlington look to honor 1975 Rookie of the Year
RELATED: Buy Darlington tickets " '16 throwback schemes " SHOP: 'Dinger gear AJ Allmendinger ’s Darlington throwback paint scheme will honor Kansas native Bruce Hill's 1970s-era No. 47 with a Kroger/Kingsford red, white and blue theme, JTG Daugherty Racing announced today. Allmendinger will drive the car in the Bojangles' Southern 500 on Sept. 4 (6 p.m. ET, NBC, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). Allmendinger and Hill, the 1975 Cup series Rookie of the Year, will meet for the first time on Friday at Kansas Speedway . "It is an honor, quite honestly," Hill said in a release. "Being remembered for something is always an honor, especially as big as the sport has gotten." Hill made starts in NASCAR's premier series in eight seasons with his best coming in his rookie year, 1975. He earned three top fives and 11 top 10s on his way to finishing 16th in driver points . He continued racing in the then-Winston Cup series through 1981. Hill now lives in his hometown of Topeka, Kansas, where he raises show horses on a ranch. "I'm really looking forward to meeting Bruce on Friday," Allmendinger said in the release. "I think what Darlington Raceway does to recognize former NASCAR drivers and the heritage of the sport is unprecedented. It's a great way to celebrate our sport and the people who made it what it is today. It's pretty neat to see all the sponsors and teams really get into it."
Fast facts about NASCAR's team owner Charter system
RELATED: NASCAR announces landmark new ownership structure NASCAR Chairman & CEO Brian France joined with NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team owners on Tuesday in Charlotte, North Carolina, to announce a landmark long-term agreement on an owner Charter system . The agreement provides teams with an increased business certainty and the ability to work more closely with NASCAR to continue to produce best-in-class racing. Below are fast facts about the comprehensive agreement. • This long-term agreement is for nine years. • There are 36 Charter teams, currently from among 19 organizations. The number 36 was not pre-determined -- NASCAR analyzed which teams showed a long-term commitment to the sport by attempting to qualify every week for the past three years. That criteria yielded 36 Charters. • Because of the above criteria, the following teams do not have Charters: the No. 19 of Joe Gibbs Racing , the No. 21 of Wood Brothers Racing , the No. 41 of Stewart-Haas Racing and the No. 46 of HScott Motorsports . • A Charter guarantees entry into the field of every Sprint Cup Series points race. Qualifying speeds still determine the lineup. • Sprint Cup Series fields will shift from 43 cars to 40 cars. That means 36 Charter teams are guaranteed to make every points race, and four non-Charter (or "open") teams will complete the rest of the field. • Charter owners may transfer their Charter to another team, for one full season, once over the first five years of the agreement. • Charter teams are held to a minimum performance standard. If a Charter team finishes in the bottom three of the owner standings among all 36 Charter teams for three consecutive years, NASCAR has a right to remove the charter. • Teams may sell their Charters on the open market. • Organizations now have a hard cap of four cars; there will be no fifth car for rookie drivers.
Albert: A true win-win in Charter system
RELATED: NASCAR announces landmark new ownership structure If there was ever a perfect anecdote to illustrate how hard NASCAR executives and the alliance of Sprint Cup team owners worked to reach their historic Charter agreement this offseason, it's the one provided by Brian France himself. The NASCAR Chairman and CEO offered a glimpse with his Tuesday remarks, providing visions of working the phones on Christmas Eve against the backdrop of gift wrap, trimmed trees and mulled cider. In addition to pushing through the typically sacrosanct time around the holidays, France also navigated around offseason knee surgery to help broker the deal. But a more evident, powerful visual from both sides came during Tuesday's groundbreaking announcement. When the eight representatives -- four from NASCAR's executive board and four from the team ownership group -- took the stage, each sat intermingled across company ranks. No divisions. When the Race Team Alliance formed in July 2014 with the hopes of providing owners a unified voice and a path to a better financial model, France was among the early skeptics, telling SiriusXM NASCAR Radio that he didn't think such a coalition was necessary. A year and a half later and with any battle lines erased, the eight reps sat on stage in harmony -- loose, amiable, and with both sides sharing smiles and the feeling of mutual benefit. "To me, this is the second-most important thing that's ever happened in NASCAR, because now the drivers and owners and stuff now can really work across the aisle," said King Richard Petty, who ranked Tuesday's landmark announcement behind only the meetings that set the foundation for NASCAR's formation in 1947 and '48. "I was telling him a while ago, it's sort of like the Democrats and Republicans, they've been doing their thing, we've been doing our thing, meeting in the middle a little bit. We're getting rid of that. We're all going to be in the middle of the deal now." Based on the newfound collegiality, the Congressional halls in Washington could take a cue from the boardrooms of Charlotte and Daytona Beach. Though both sides had to yield on certain points to reach a compromise, each emerged with a considerable number of positives to create a true win-win scenario from the nine-year agreement. For team owners, the plusses include stability and palpable value for their Charters, an enticing selling point for sponsors. The agreement also provides a share of revenue, which may conceivably help smaller-budget teams reinvest and make modest performance gains on their well-heeled competitors within the Charter system . For NASCAR, the premier stock-car series stands to benefit from seeing its current Charter members thrive, but also in seeing value build for prospective new sponsors and owners. The sanctioning body will retain a firm grasp on its governance of the on-track product, but the newly forged bonds of cooperation and open communication with its team owners should buoy the sport for many years. WATCH: France calls Tuesday a 'historic day in NASCAR' "It's not surprising there were a lot of different opinions, lots of different perspectives expressed during the process," said Roush Fenway Racing president Steve Newmark. "You expect that with the diversity in our sport that we have. There was always an unwavering commitment to a single goal, a single mission. That was to make our sport better and stronger for our fans and partners. That commitment translated into a willingness of everyone involved to pursue and explore a complete paradigm shift in how we operate and to create a much stronger and stable foundation going forward. "If you poll everyone involved in this process, the prevailing sentiment would be the collaborative precedent we set during this process bodes very well for our future." The spirit of collaboration -- with team owners, with tracks in reaching a five-year sanctioning deal last October, and with the drivers' council that was created just last season -- represents a major advancement for NASCAR's brass. It's a reason why France, when asked what his father and predecessor, Bill France Jr., would think about the Charter agreement, politely joked that he'd expect a largely conservative approach. But this isn't your father's NASCAR, or even France's father's NASCAR. That both sides drew inspiration from the ownership models of other professional sports such as the NFL, European soccer and cricket -- cricket! -- rams that point home. NASCAR has long operated under a system with its participants acting as independent contractors. Now team owners can claim a degree of equity for their investment in an expensive sport. "We always have said, because we mean it, that our owners and their success and their viability is very important to us," France said. "That remains true yesterday; it remains true today. But these agreements and this new course that we're on today gives us a chance to really back that up. We get to align our interests in a way we never thought we could. I'm excited about that. We're going to be partners in a different way going forward. I couldn't be more thrilled." France and the team owners may have interrupted their holidays to keep hammering away at negotiations in the face of a hard deadline -- the season-opening Daytona 500 -- looming just several weeks off. The culmination of those efforts made a historic holiday all its own, turning an otherwise ordinary Tuesday in February into a turning point for stock-car racing.
Kenseth in college spotlight on Daytona tour
RELATED: See photos of the Road to Daytona TAMPA, Fla. -- Two-time Daytona 500 champion Matt Kenseth drew a captive audience while visiting the University of South Florida campus in Tampa on Thursday as part of the Road to Daytona tour. He was accompanied by Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood -- a USF graduate -- and the pair were popular visitors to the highly touted Sports & Entertainment Management Program. During a question-and-answer time, they won over graduate students with their humor and insight with Kenseth joking he needs to be more active on social media. The two were equally well-received later by the Mechanical Engineering department, where Kenseth, driver of the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 20 Dollar General Toyota, seemed as interested in the students' work as they were in meeting a NASCAR champion. Kenseth even sat in the race car built by the successful USF Racing Team. And Chitwood surprised the group of engineering students by giving them tickets to the NASCAR XFINITY Series race next Saturday in Daytona Beach. "I started going over to Daytona as a little boy when I was 8 or 9 years old," engineering student Michael Kennedy said. "I got into NASCAR big time when my dad and all his friends were big Dale Earnhardt Sr. fans and I didn't want to root for the same driver so that's when Jeff Gordon was coming up and I started rooting for him. I attached to him. He's retired and now I didn't have a driver to root for, but Matt's really selling his game." It's Daytona 500 time and in just a few days it will be all business for Kenseth as he heads to the $400 million "reimagined" iconic Daytona International Speedway for Saturday's Sprint Unlimited and ultimately, the Feb. 21 Daytona 500 . The sport has been abuzz this week with new rules, a ground-breaking Charter system and high-profile substitute drivers. But on Thursday, Kenseth seemed to enjoy a much lower profile sharing insight and winning over fans everywhere he went. Explained that the USF Racing Team competitions include a 300-page rule book, Kenseth smiled and asked, "Do you read that whole thing?" Kenseth's time signing autographs for the students and sharing his love of the sport was sincere. And well-received. "Talking to the kids isn't the most comfortable I'd ever be, but it was good," Kenseth joked of his time taking questions from the graduate students. "Then walking in here (USF Race Team shop) is neat and seeing all the stuff they built." Kenseth seemed to have as many questions for the students as they had for him. But he was kind and funny and put everyone at ease. "We are really big on bringing in industry people to share with our students, but as many speakers as we've had in during the last three-and-a-half years, this was the first time we've had a very recognizable, world-class professional athlete to share his thoughts about sports marketing," said Dr. Mike Mondello, USF's Associate Director of the Sports and Entertainment Management Program. "I think it worked out well to hear different perspectives, for the students and for Matt and Joie." In addition to big breaking news from NASCAR this week -- including the announcement Thursday afternoon of Daytona 500 qualifying procedures, green-white-checkered flag formats and a new points system -- Kenseth spoke about one of his more pressing issues: having a different spotter at Daytona. Lorin Ranier will guide Kenseth in this weekend's Sprint Unlimited and most likely next week in the Daytona 500 as Kenseth's regular and longtime spotter Chris Osborne continues to heal from serious injuries he suffered in a December traffic accident near Charlotte. Doctors still have not cleared him to spot for the 500. "Actually we got fortunate having Lorin be available," Kenseth said. "Lorin actually spotted my first Cup race ever, believe it or not, and he's spotted for me a lot of times over the years in the XFINITY Series. I'm real comfortable with Lorin and think he'll do a good job. "Of course it's not the same as having your regular spotter, though. We just want 'Crazy' (Osborne) to get better and when he comes back, to be 100 percent healthy and be ready for the grind. I know he's trying real hard." Kenseth said working with a different spotter at Daytona would more typically be worrisome, but that's where having had previous experience with Rainier will make the difference. "Especially on superspeedways, the driver-spotter thing is probably more important than people realize," Kenseth said. "We talked about that last week. If you make a wrong move because you didn't see something or didn't hear something and the car is torn up it doesn't matter how hard you worked in the shop to prepare it or how fast your pit stops were. "Certainly at plate races when the game is a matter of inches, not feet, it's extremely, extremely important to be on the same page as your spotter. I wish 'Crazy' could do it, but I feel very fortunate Lorin was available. He does a nice job particularly at the speedways where he's had success. I know him well enough and I'm comfortable with him." As for NASCAR's new Charter system , formally unveiled this week, Kenseth was equally as effusive and encouraged. "I only know a little bit about it from the owners perspective," Kenseth said. "The owners getting together and having a voice I think is a good thing, a good start. I didn't know where it was going to end up, but it seems like the owners are satisfied they got it done. What's good for the owners is good for the drivers." Kenseth said he was flying back to Charlotte later Thursday for one last night at home before his trip to Daytona for the highly anticipated Speedweeks. "It usually hits me when I come down and throw my bag in the motorhome, and think, 'I'm here,' " Kenseth said smiling. "But when you walk into the garage area that first morning you still get that feeling you did the first time you walked in there."
Earnhardt Jr. rebounds from early miscue to match season-best finish
RELATED: Full race results BRISTOL, Tenn. -- Dale Earnhardt Jr . spotted the field two laps and then nearly won the race Sunday. Well, maybe not won . But he did spot the field two laps, thanks to an unspecified electrical issue. And he did run as high as second with only five of the 500 laps remaining in the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway . But it would have taken quite a turn of events for the Hendrick Motorsports driver to overtake leader and eventual race winner Carl Edwards . Not that he and crew chief Greg Ives didn’t try. Instead, Earnhardt wound up with his second consecutive second-place finish and his third of the season. Earnhardt said it was an issue with the braking system that caused the engine to shut off practically at the drop of the green flag. With no power, his No. 88 Chevrolet was nearly run over from behind by the No. 43 of Aric Almirola ( Richard Petty Motorsports ), which in turn was nearly run over by the No. 23 of David Ragan . "If your throttle is stuck and you mash the brake to a certain (pressure) -- you're going to mash the (expletive) out of that brake when the throttle sticks; it'll shut the motor off. That's a system ; that's one of the two systems that you have to choose from in this sport. "The other is a button on the steering wheel. I don't like the button on the steering wheel because when the throttle sticks, I ain't going to think, 'Mash a button.' I'll be in the fence before it's over with.” Ives said officials were still evaluating the situation after the race. "It looks like the engine might have just went into protection mode," he said. "They’re still diagnosing it … we’re just double-checking everything before we claim (that) was the real issue." Once the problem was corrected, if not entirely solved, Earnhardt Jr. began the long, arduous task of racing his way back into contention on a speedy half-mile where passing options are limited and mistakes are often costly. He gained one of the lost laps by taking the wave-around during the first of 15 caution periods during the race. When the yellow flag appeared a third time at Lap 116, he once again remained on the track and was back on the lead lap when green-flag racing resumed. Late restarts were beneficial since for nearly each one, Earnhardt restarted in the preferred outside row. A position or two here, a position or two there and suddenly, with five laps remaining, he shot from fourth to second. A misstep by Edwards and the No. 88 team would have been in Victory Lane. But Edwards didn’t waver and both Earnhardt and Ives knew they didn’t have the best car. "We had a really good car last week, a top‑three car," Earnhardt said. "This car wasn't that good, but we kind of understand why. We're going outside the box as far as what we typically run here for setup. "And that's good. The setup didn't quite work but you still had a good day and you can go home and learn and try to science it out and make that setup work." Ives agreed. The car was good enough, he said, to allow his driver to make passes and "do what he needed to do." "But I don’t think we had a second-place car or a top-10 car," the crew chief said. "I felt like we were probably 12th to 15th at best with the race car. Just Dale working the traffic and doing what he needed to do got us in position there at the end. That really allowed us to get a second-place finish, but I definitely need to bring better cars. "Obviously we want to run well and win races, but if you just keep on bringing the same stuff year in year out you’re not going to learn anything." Earnhardt hasn’t won since last fall’s Phoenix race, however he and the team have five top-10s in the season’s first eight races. As a result, he sits sixth in points and is poised to head back to the Chase for the Sprint Cup at the end of this season. Not that he’s taking anything for granted. "Going to Victory Lane is important to our sponsors and it's obviously fun," he said. "But it's good for our team to set ourselves up to not have to worry about the Chase anymore. "Even though you know you're a top‑five team or top‑10 team that should make the Chase without any issue, you can't help but count them points to 16th or 17th each week."