Report: NASCAR plans major changes to the Chase

Nov 17, 2013; Homestead, FL, USA; NASCAR Sprint Cup Series crew chief Chad Knaus celebrates in victory lane after driver Jimmie Johnson clinched the Sprint Cup Series championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Sources are reporting that the NASCAR Chase for the Championship structure could be undergoing some major changes before the new season kicks off. Apparently, officials are considering implementing more of a playoff system with driver eliminations throughout the series of races.

The Charlotte Observer was the first to report possible changes.

In addition to expanding the Chase field from 12 to 16 drivers, a win in the season’s first 26 races would virtually ensure a driver entry into the championship Chase. If there were more than 16 winners, the 16 with the most wins and highest in points would gain entry.

Once the Chase field was set, a round of eliminations – similar to the NCAA tournament – would take place after the third, sixth and ninth race of the Chase, culminating with the championship determined by a winner-takes-all season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

NASCAR has kept any possible changes close to the vest. A recent statement released by chief communications officer Brett Jewkes offered little insight into changes for The Chase.

“NASCAR has begun the process of briefing key industry stakeholders on potential concepts to evolve its NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship format. “This dialogue is the final phase of a multi-year process that has included the review of extensive fan research, partner and industry feedback and other data-driven insights. NASCAR has no plans to comment further until the stakeholder discussions are complete. We hope to announce any potential changes for the 2014 season to our media and fans very soon.”

Topics: NASCAR Sprint Cup

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