The NASCAR Owner's Championship operates in the same manner as the Driver's Championship, but with one addition. In the event of more than 43 cars attempting to qualify, owner's points are awarded to each car in the following manner: the fastest non-qualifier (in essence, 44th position) receives 31 points, three less than the 43rd position car. If there is more than one non-qualifying car, owners' points continue to be assigned in the manner described, decreasing by three for each position.
A 2005 rule change in NASCAR's three national series affects how the owner's points are affected. The top 35 (Nextel Cup), or top 30 (other series) full-time teams in owner points are awarded exemptions for the next race, guaranteeing them a position in the next race. These points can decide who is in and out the next race, and have become crucial since the exemption rule was changed to its current format.
In some circumstances, a team's owners' points will differ from the corresponding driver's points. In 2005, after owner Jack Roush fired Kurt Busch during the next-to-last race weekend of the season, the #97 team finished in eighth place overall while Busch ended up tenth. In 2002, when Sterling Marlin was injured, the #40 team finished eighth when Marlin was 19th because of the substitute drivers who kept earning owner points for the #40.