NASCAR's New Chase Format Places Greater Emphasis On Wins
NASCAR today confirmed weeks of news stories by announcing a new format for the Chase for the Sprint Cup that adds elimination and emphasizes winning. Chair & CEO Brian France showed a series of playoff grids that started with a 16-driver postseason field and eliminated 12 drivers over nine races, setting up a winner-take-all race to end the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway. France said, "This (format) checked every box. It’s going to elevate racing."
France said that NASCAR three years ago began discussing an elimination system for its Chase, but it decided that would not do enough to emphasize winning during the first 26 races of the season. As a result, it decided to expand the Chase field from 12 to 16 drivers and make it so that a victory in one of the first 26 races of the season almost assures a driver will make the Chase. It also set up three elimination rounds in the Chase. France is optimistic that the format will attract new fans and elevate interest in the sport, which should translate to increased attendance and TV ratings. He said, "We wouldn’t have done it if we didn’t think the interest level and the ability to bring in new fans that this wouldn’t be a positive thing for that."
For more, see tomorrow's issue of THE DAILY.