The Charlotte Observer reported on Friday that NASCAR is close to pulling the trigger on sweeping changes to the way the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion is determined and on Saturday NASCAR confirmed that they are looking into changes.
"NASCAR has begun the process of briefing key industry stakeholders on potential concepts to evolve its NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship format," a statement from NASCAR read. "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."
The potential new format which has gained the most steam is expanding the Chase from 12 to 16 drivers. To gain entry into the Chase a full time driver would have to win a race. If there would happen to be more than 16 winners in the first 26 races then the 16 with the highest amount of points would make the Chase. Should 16 drivers not win a race then the remaining slots would be given to the drivers highest in points without a win.
During the 10-race Chase there would be three elimination periods where the four lowest drivers in points left in the Chase will be removed. Those would occur after the third, sixth, and ninth races leaving four drivers in the Chase for the final race of the season. NASCAR would reset those four driver's points and the driver who scores the most points in the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway would be the champion.
These changes would be met with a lot of questioning but also it would create a lot of excitement. Changes could still be made to this proposed format but at this time this is the path it seems NASCAR may be taking.
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