NASCAR Changes How The Championship Is Determined [VIDEO]
For the second time in the new year, NASCAR has changed their racing format. First it was how teams qualified for races. Now it's shaking up the way the yearly champion is determined. The new format will put more emphasis on winning. Click for details.
In a nutshell, the final race of the season at Homstead will determine who wins the championship. Getting there is a little more complicated to explain. NASCAR Chairman Bill France says they have looked at several different ideas over the last 3 years before deciding on the new "Chase Format."
“We have arrived at a format that makes every race matter even more, diminishes points racing, puts a premium on winning races and concludes with a best-of-the-best, first-to-the-finish line showdown race – all of which is exactly what fans want,”
- A victory in the first 26 races likely will guarantee a driver a berth in the 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup -- a change that will put an unprecedented premium on winning a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race all season long
- Expanding the Chase field from 12 to 16 drivers, with those drivers advancing to what now will be known as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Chase Grid
- The number of championship drivers in contention for the NASCAR Sprint Cup championship will decrease after every three Chase races, from 16 to start in the Chase Grid; 12 after Chase race No. 3; eight after Chase race No. 6; and four after Chase race No. 9
- The first three races of the Chase (27-29) will be known as the Challenger Round; races 30-32 will be known as the Contender Round; races 33-35 will be the Eliminator Round and race No. 36 will be the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship
- A win by a championship-eligible driver in any Chase race automatically clinches the winning driver a spot in the next Chase round
- Four drivers will enter the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship with a chance for the Cup, with the highest finisher among those four capturing the prestigious NASCAR Sprint Cup Series title.