NASCAR announced some big rule changes to their race format for all three national series on Monday. For starters, they’ll crown a regular-season champion that will receive 15 bonus points heading into the playoffs. The rest of these rules get so complicated that it took me an hour just to break them down for myself, so I’ll now attempt to explain the new NASCAR rules as simply as possible (don’t feel bad if you need to reread it a time or two).
Probably the biggest change is that every race will now be split up into 3 segments similar to the way the all-star race has worked in the past. The winners of the first two segments of each race will receive 10 regular-season bonus points, second place will receive 9, and so on to 10th place of each segment who’ll receive one regular-season bonus point. The winners of the first two segments of each race will also receive one bonus point that will be applied to the playoffs if they should make it into the first round.
The winner at the end of the race will still get an automatic spot in the playoffs along with 5 bonus points to start the playoffs. A race win is still worth 40 regular-season points, but second is only worth 35, third 34, and so on down to one point for the teams that finish in the back.
NASCAR has said that all playoffs points will carry through to the third round, but the final four will all start with the same number of points at the final race in Miami. As in the past, the winner takes home the title.
You may have noticed I’ve used the word “playoffs” a lot. That’s because the final rule is that the chase is no longer called “the chase.” NASCAR has decided to use the term “playoffs” even though it’s not a playoffs system. It’s not really even a raceoffs system because it’s not 2 cars racing to eliminate each other. I guess 10 years isn’t enough time for NASCAR to think up a word that accurately describes the complicated, unique system they’ve thought up after too many drinks.
Also worth mentioning is the rumor going around that instead of racing at most of the tracks on the schedule twice, NASCAR might race on the road course of the tracks that have road courses on the infield such as Daytona, Indy, Charlotte, Miami and a lot of the other regularly scheduled tracks. A.J. Allmendinger recently tested on the road course at Charlotte, but NASCAR hasn’t commented either way on the idea yet.
As always, thanks for reading, have a great week and happy trails until we meet again.