NASCAR has been hard at work trying to figure out how to keep fans entertained and drivers happy, and over the years there have been hits and misses. “Have at it, boys!” racing perked up the fan base, but that was offset by the Car of Tomorrow disaster and the strange layout that is The Chase. Whatever happened to mark a distance, hope you don’t wreck or blow the engine, and cross the line first to win? We don’t know, but we’ve recently found out that NASCAR is changing things up again. Here’s what to expect for the next season, for all three series (Monster Energy Cup, Xfinity series, and Trucks), courtesy of Motorsport.com:
1. Each race will be divided into three segments, with ten-minute breaks in-between racing.
A break in the middle of the action? That used to be the godsend that came with a car winding up on it’s roof in the infield, but now that’s going to be a scheduled deal. Each race will be measured out and divided into thirds, with breaks set in between. The reason: “there will be collaborative effort between NASCAR and the TV networks to avoid missing as much on-track action as possible (including pit stops).”
2. A new points system will be used.
“At the end of each stage, drivers who finish in the Top 10 will be awarded points on a scale from 10 points to one point which will be included in their total from the race. At the end of each race, the winner will receive 40 points, while second through 35th position will be awarded on a 35 to two-point scale, with all positions 36th and lower to be awarded one point.
Each stage winner will also receive one playoff point and the overall race winner will receive five playoff points – all of which will be carried into the 10-race NASCAR playoff at the end of the season.”
3. Don’t call it “The Chase”.
Points can be collected throughout the season up until the season finale race at Homestead-Miami Speedway, at which point the top four will race for championship honors, which will go to the driver who has the highest finishing position. During the “regular season”, the driver who gains the most points will have fifteen additional “playoff points” added to their total, as will the top-ten finishers of each race until the Round of Eight race.
Racing timeouts? Points tracking? Fantasy NASCAR seasons? What do you make of all of this?