The only thing that one can be assured of when it comes to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series is that the rules are always changing.
That could be the case again this season as NASCAR is considering expansion of it’s Chase from 12 drivers to 16 and a new “playoff” system.
Currently the top ten drivers in points and two wild card drivers (based on wins, then points) earn entry into the Chase. In 2013 NASCAR modified their rules allowing 13 drivers into the Chase. Now that number could jump to 16 with a field being decided by wins and then points.
Under this new format (yet unconfirmed) a race win would guarantee entry into the Chase with others filling out the 16 spots via points should less then 16 drivers win a race.
Once the Chase started it would turn into a “playoff” with four drivers being eliminated after the third, sixth and ninth race. The four remaining drivers would enter Homested-Miami Speedway with their points equal and the driver who earns the most points would earn the Championship.
NASCAR has yet to announce any plans publicly but with the Dayonta 500 just over a month away expect detail to be released sometime prior to cars arriving at Daytona.
“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.”
Last season NASCAR saw an increase in ratings at the season ending race in Homestead even as Jimmie Johnson was all but assured his sixth Sprint Cup championship.