With Super Bowl XLVIII signaling the end of football, this will mean that my other favorite sport, NASCAR will kick-off in a couple of weeks. However, before we rev up those engines, NASCAR has announced a drastic of changes.
Previously, the Chase for the Sprint Cup was a 10-race playoff. The top 12 drivers — or an unprecedented 13 drivers in 2013 — in the 26-race regular season had their points totals reset and whoever collected the most points over 10 weeks won the championship.
Sixteen drivers will now make the field based on whether or not they’ve won a race — not their point totals. The 16th position will go to the points leader after the Sept. 6 race at Richmond International Raceway, the regular-season finale.
“This will make winning the most important thing by a wide margin,” said NASCAR chairman Brian France when the new structure was introduced Thursday.
In more detail, via a NASCAR statement: “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 like medical issues). 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.”
This is the first time in the history of the Chase that the formula for the positioning will be altered. I’m looking forward to this exciting run. It’s nothing like NASCAR.
Your Jersey Girlfriend,