Nov 17, 2013; Homestead, FL, USA; NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Jimmie Johnson celebrates in victory lane with champagne in victory lane after winning the Sprint Cup championship after the Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

NASCAR announces Chase For The Sprint Cup format change

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NASCAR recently announced the highly anticipated Chase For The Sprint Cup championship format changes that will put greater emphasis on winning races all season long. The changes also expand 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 likely will guarantee a driver a berth in the 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup

–    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

–    The first three races of the Chase (27-29) will be known as the Challenger Round

–    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.

The changes to the Chase For The Sprint Cup will result in four drivers battling for the title during the season-ending Ford EcoBoost 400 race at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16.

“This is, without question, fantastic news for Homestead-Miami Speedway,” said track President Matthew Becherer. “We’ve had some exciting battles  between two or three drivers during Ford Championship Weekend in our 12 years of hosting championship races, but now we are guaranteed to have four of NASCAR’s best Sprint Cup Series drivers battling head-to-head, all of whom will be on equal footing to win the championship.  It will all come down to Homestead-Miami Speedway in a one-race shootout.  No more calculating points — it’s simple – the best championship contender takes all.  We applaud NASCAR for implementing these changes.”

For full details on the Chase For The Sprint Cup format change, click here.

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Tags: NASCAR Sprint Cup

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