NASCAR hasn’t exactly made an official change to the Chase for the Sprint Cup format, yet, but there is an idea floating around that the sanctioning body is, reportedly, considering — an idea that’s receiving a lot of criticism. According reports from such media outlets as the Charlotte Observer, Motor Racing Network and the Sporting News, NASCAR is tossing around an idea of a 16-man Chase with elimination throughout.
Under this proposed system, 16 drivers would make the Chase, and for the most part, entry into the Chase wouldn’t be based on the points standings, either. Instead, the primary focus would be on race wins. If fewer than 16 full-time drivers win races within the 26 race “regular season,” the remainder of the 16-driver Chase field would consist of winless drivers highest in the points standings. If there are more than 16 winners in the first 26 races, the spots would go to the winningest drivers, then those with the most points in case of ties in the win column.
As far as eliminations go, the proposal has four drivers — the bottom four — eliminated after the third race of the Chase, four more after the sixth race and then four more after the ninth race, leaving four drivers to battle it out for the championship. The points would be reset among the four contenders prior to the season-finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, making Homestead a one-race shootout for the championship.
Again, this proposed Chase format is just that, a proposal. Official changes are expected to be announced later this month.
NASCAR is not commenting on the proposed change.
“NASCAR has no plans to comment further until the stakeholder discussions are complete,” NASCAR Vice President and Chief Communications Officer Brett Jewkes told the Charlotte Observer. “We hope to announce any potential changes for the 2014 season to our media and fans very soon.”