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The Daly Planet

This Just In

The New Chase
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By NASCAR Press Release | 01/30/2014
Category: This Just In

NASCAR Announces Chase For The NASCAR Sprint Cup

Championship Format Change

16-Driver Chase Grid Introduced; First-To-The-Finish Finale Unveiled


DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 30, 2014) – NASCAR announced a new championship format today that will put greater emphasis on winning races all season long, expands the current Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup field to 16 drivers, and implements a new round-by-round advancement format that ultimately will reward a battle-tested, worthy champion.


“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,” said Brian France, NASCAR chairman and CEO. “We have looked at a number of concepts for the last three years through fan research, models and simulations, and also maintained extensive dialogue with our drivers, teams and partners. The new Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup will be thrilling, easy to understand and help drive our sport’s competition to a whole new level.”


Changes announced by France to the championship format include:

-       A victory in the first 26 races all but guarantees a berth in the 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup – a change that will put an unprecedented importance 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 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 at the title, with the highest finisher among those four capturing the prestigious NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship.


Eligibility for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup

The top 15 drivers with the most wins over the first 26 races will earn a spot in the NASCAR Chase Grid – provided they have finished in the top 30 in points and attempted to qualify for every race (except in rare instances). The 16th Chase position will go to the points leader after race No. 26, if he/she does not have a victory. In the event that there are 16 or more different winners over 26 races, the only winless driver who can earn a Chase Grid spot would be the points leader after 26 races.


If there are fewer than 16 different winners in the first 26 races, the remaining Chase Grid positions will go to those winless drivers highest in points. If there are 16 or more winners in the first 26 races, the ties will first be broken by number of wins, followed by NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver points.


As was implemented in 2011, prior to the start of the Chase, all Chase Grid drivers will have their points adjusted to 2,000, with three additional bonus points added to their total for each win in the first 26 races.


Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Structure

After the third Chase race, the Chase Grid will be left with 12 drivers. After the sixth Chase race, the field will drop to eight drivers, and following the ninth Chase race, only four drivers will remain in championship contention for the NASCAR Sprint Cup title.


The first round (races 27-29) will be called the Challenger Round. If a driver in the Chase Grid wins a Challenger Round race, the driver automatically advances to the next round. The remaining available positions 1-12 that have not been filled based upon wins will be based on points. Each will then have their points reset to 3,000.


The second round (races 30-32) will be called the Contender Round. Likewise, if a driver in the top 12 in points wins a race in the Contender Round, the driver automatically advances to the next round. The remaining available positions 1-8 that have not been filled based upon wins will be based on points. Each will then have their points reset to 4,000.


The third round (races 33-35) will be called the Eliminator Round. If a driver in the top eight in points wins a race in the Eliminator Round, the driver automatically advances to the next round. The remaining available positions 1-4 that have not been filled based upon wins will be based on points. Each will then have their points reset to 5,000.


Additionally, drivers who are eliminated in the Contender and Eliminator Rounds will have their points readjusted. Each eliminated driver will return to the Chase-start base of 2,000 (plus any regular season wins bonus points), with their accumulated points starting with race No. 27 added. This will allow all drivers not in contention for the NASCAR Sprint Cup title to continue to race for the best possible season-long standing, with final positions fifth-through-16th still up for grabs.


Four Drivers, First-to-the-Finish Championship Finale

The 36th and final race of the season will be the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship. Simply stated, the highest finisher in that race among the remaining four eligible drivers will win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series title.


Bonus points for laps led will not apply in the season finale, so the official finishing position alone will decide the champion.


Note: All rules outlined above also apply to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series owner championship structure.




01/30/2014 2:19 pm (1)
Complicated. Qualifying races and then a Main what a novel idea.
Bill B
01/30/2014 6:06 pm (2)
First off, very sorry for your loss Carol. Every time I've lost a dog it is very hard and sad. I know that Duke had a good life.

Now about this championship travesty. From the looks of it, I think a lawyer or politician drafted it. I'm telling you, the next change involves a wheel with all the drivers' names on it.

The more they change it the less being a champion means. 5 changes in 10 years. Genius.

01/30/2014 10:36 pm (3)
When is someone going to declare Brian France legally incompetent ?
01/31/2014 6:40 am (4)
First, sorry for the loss of the Dingo, Carol. I will never forget how your article on "Conrad" touched me. I read it occasionally and still marvel at how it makes me feel.

As far as the "new"chase, NASCAR has left their roots and sold their soul to TV and the "we want it now" crowd. The champion was always crowned by the body of work over the whole season, just not in 10 races. Now with this change, its worse. It seems that France is desperately trying to do something to improve the TV ratings thus improve his position at the when it comes to sponsors and TV money. The NASCAR season is a long, hard struggle and the winner should be chosen based on the body of work, not a made for TV finale.
01/31/2014 11:26 am (5)
"“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"
yeah? Just saw that Earnhardt, Jr would have won last years championship under this format, with zero wins, while Matt Kenseth, with 7 wins, would have not made the final four at Homestead....
I like the idea of emphasizing winning, but I really am not sure if this will do that.

My biggest issue with this is resetting the points before the final race for the final 4 drivers. NASCAR has this need to try to manufacture drama when it really doesn't need to be there.

But, as I heard someone say: as long as the points are divvied out the same all year, and the competitors all know and understand the system ahead of time, the Champ will be the one that plays that system best.

Should we go ahead and give Chad and Jimmie #7 now??? ;)
01/31/2014 12:03 pm (6)
That is spot on. The way it's set up, Jimmie will have to win only five strategic races in the season. I feel like somewhere, some time, Chad must have told NASCAR, "Bring it!" They keep doing their best to outwit him, but IMO, there has never been a smarter man in NASCAR than Chad Knaus.

01/31/2014 12:05 pm (7)
Thank you. There may be an article on Duke, but not just yet. The photo montage has a story for every pic, though. Maybe that should be my outline. :-)

02/02/2014 8:29 am (8)
Sorry for the loss of the Dingo,I know he was a family member,not just a pet.He had a good home,He was loved and he knew it....... The more they mess with the rules and points the worse it gets......Can we just go back what we had before Big Bill died????????????
Mr. O
02/02/2014 9:31 pm (9)
Did you see how lopsided the Super Bowl was? I guess next year the NFL will reset the score to begin the 4th quarter so they can guarantee a close game until the end. I also saw where touchdowns, field goals, and safeties will all be worth one point apiece now, so that the score is simpler for fans to understand.

Oh, sorry, I was getting my sports mixed up.
02/04/2014 3:42 pm (10)
Thing that amuses me is that, if the new rules are applied to the 2013 results, Earnhardt Jr wins the Cup. So despite the "premium on winning" you get a champion with no race victories (altho 17 other drivers did win races) and an average finish of 12th.

And, regardless of how much you might like Earnhardt or not, I don't think anyone would call him the best driver of 2013.

02/05/2014 9:21 am (11)
I wish they would implement a rule that was new in the 24 Hours of Dayton. When there was a debris caution, no one got a wave around or lap back.

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Race Journal Online

Official Rules of New Chase Format

2014 Penalty/Deterrent System

TV Times are only estimates
Sprint Cup 2016 Schedule
Saturday night races in red

Feb 21 1pm FOX Daytona
Feb 28 1pm FOX Atlanta

Mar 06 3pm FOX Las Vegas
Mar 13 3pm FOX Phoenix
Mar 20 3pm FOX Fontana
Mar 29 1pm FS1 Martinsvl
Mar 27 OFF (Easter)

Apr 03 1pm FOX Martinsville
Apr 09 7pm FOX Texas
Apr 17 1pm FOX Bristol
Apr 24 1pm FOX Richmond

May 01 1pm FOX Talladega
May 07 7pm FS1 Kansas
May 15 1pm FOX Dover
May 21 7pm FS1 All Star
May 29 6pm FOX Charlotte

Jun 05 1pm FS1 Pocono
Jun 12 1pm FS1 Michigan
Jun 19 OFF
Jun 26 3pm FS1 Sonoma

Jul 02 7pm NBC Daytona
Jul 09 7pm NBCSN Kentucky
Jul 17 1pm NBCSN New Hampshr
Jul 24 3pm NBCSN Indy
Jul 31 1pm NBCSN Pocono

Aug 07 2pm NBCSN WatGlen
Aug 14 OFF
Aug 20 8pm NBCSN Bristol
Aug 28 2pm NBCSN Michigan

Sep 04 6pm NBC Darlington
Sep 10 7pm NBCSN Richmond

The Chase

Round of 16

Sep 18 2pm NBCSN Chicago
Sep 25 2pm NBCSN New Hampshr
Oct 02 2pm NBCSN Dover

Round of 12

Oct 08 7pm NBC Charlotte
Oct 16 2pm NBC Kansas
Oct 23 2pm NBCSN Talladega

Round of 8

Oct 30 1pm NBCSN Martinsvl
Nov 06 2pm NBC Texas
Nov 13 2pm NBC Phoenix

Championship 4

Nov 20 2pm NBC Homestead

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