Yes, you are right, some of our "Experts" shouldn't be, and some of those have been racing for ten-twenty years! ;D
As far as the upgrade goes, legally we had to have a universally applicable standard that we could justify why a person was moved up. There are plenty of riders who win class championships with less than 500 points and the majority win championships with less than 1000 points. Our standard needed to include the average of a top 5 finish in a class or classes over the minimum 10 race season. Since 5th place is 50 points times ten races, there is your 500 points. Face it, if you finish in the top five in your Amateur races, you really should move up.
The only flaw in this procedure is a guy who runs 5-6 classes every weekend. While he has the equivilant racing track time of a rider who runs one race every weekend for ten weekends, he loses out on the equivilant practice time that could also help a riders development. That is why we allow you to petition to stay Amateur once you reach the 500 point level the first time. We then evaluate your races and finishes plus we check with the race director for some eyewitness input before acting upon your request.
Anyway, sometimes we miss, but we usually err on the side of caution. (Ted Cobb and Giavonni Rojas are prime examples.)
Good luck in 2002.