NASCAR Ushers in New Era for the Championship Chase to Miami
"I don't care what races are in the Chase, the format to win the championship, I could care less because I feel confident that my team will be able to win championships under any set of circumstances." (photo courtesy: Getty Images Sport)
NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France revealed changes to NASCAR’s Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship “playoff” system—the winner of which will be crowned at Homestead-Miami Speedway during Ford Championship Weekend for a 10th consecutive season this fall (Nov. 20).
The new points system will award 43 points to the race winner, with the points rewarded then decreasing in one-point increments to a single point for the last-place finisher. The race winner will also be awarded three bonus points for the victory, as well as another point for leading a lap during the race.
“Many of our most loyal fans don’t fully understand the points system we have used to date,” France said in making the announcement. “So, we are simplifying the points system to one that is much easier to understand. Conceptually, it is comparable to our previous system, but it is easier to follow....It's going to create even more excitement and drama [and] last year, we got the best racing we have seen all the way down to South Florida in the closest Championship ever.”
In years past, the first 26 events of NASCAR’s 36-race season determined the Top 12 points-scoring drivers for the 10-race Chase “playoff.” The new format will feature the Top 10 points-scoring drivers plus potentially two wild cards who don’t qualify in the Top 10 but score the highest number of victories.
“This makes the scoring system much easier to understand, and based on what I've heard from our fans over the last few days there is no question that this was the right move,” said Homestead-Miami Speedway President Matthew Becherer. “There is so much drama that unfolds on the track each week, and I'm for anything that helps tell that story in a more effective way as we work toward the Sprint Cup Championship during Ford Championship Weekend in Miami. I am also thrilled for the fans with the addition of the two wild-card spots: It has always been about winning, but to now have two spots in the Chase be solely determined by wins just ratchets up that level of emotion.”