NASCAR, in collaboration with industry stakeholders, announced Monday, Jan. 23 that an enhanced competition format that will be implemented in all three of its national series – the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, the NASCAR XFINITY Series and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
Increasing the sense of urgency and emphasizing aggressive racing and strategy, the race format will deliver more dramatic moments over the course of an entire race and season, with playoff point incentives on the line throughout.
The enhanced format consists of the following:
- Races will now consist of three stages, with championship implications in each stage.
- The top-10 finishers of the first two stages will be awarded additional championship points.
- The winner of the first two stages of each race will receive one playoff point, and the race winner will receive five playoff points. Each playoff point will be added to his or her reset total following race No. 26, if that competitor makes the playoffs.
- All playoff points will carry through to the end of the third round of the playoffs (Round of 8), with the Championship 4 racing straight-up at Homestead-Miami Speedway for the title.
- Championship points following the first two stages will be awarded on a descending scale, with the stage winner receiving 10 points, second receiving 9 points, and so on.
- The race winner following the final stage will now receive 40 points, second-place will receive 35, third-place 34, fourth-place 33, and so on.
“Simply put, this will make our great racing even better,” said Brian France, NASCAR chairman and CEO. “I’m proud of the unprecedented collaboration from our industry stakeholders, each of whom had a common goal – strengthening the sport for our fans. This is an enhancement fully rooted in teamwork, and the result will be an even better product every single week.”
Click here to view a video explaining the enhancements.
Click here to view an FAQ on the enhancements.
Click here to view driver reactions to the enhancements.
The enhanced format will be on display at Dover International Speedway when it hosts two NASCAR tripleheader weekends on June 2-4 and Sept. 29-Oct. 1.
The June 2-4 weekend includes the “AAA 400 Drive for Autism” Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race on Sunday, June 4, a NASCAR XFINITY Series race on Saturday, June 3 and a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race on Friday, June 2.
Dover stages end at the following times:
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series: Lap 120, Lap 240, Lap 400.
NASCAR XFINITY Series: Lap 60, Lap 120, Lap 200.
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series: Lap 45, Lap 90, Lap 200.
The Sept. 29-Oct. 1 weekend includes the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race on Sunday, Oct. 1, which will be the first elimination race of the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series playoffs. Also included will be the “Drive Sober 200” presented by the Delaware Office of Highway Safety NASCAR XFINITY Series race on Saturday, Sept. 30 and a NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race on Friday, Sept. 29.
NASCAR also announced a playoff bonus structure that will see the regular season points leader honored as the regular season champion, earning 15 playoff points that will be added to the driver’s playoff reset of 2,000. In addition, the top-10 drivers in points leading into the playoffs will receive playoff points, with second place receiving 10 playoff points, third place will earn 8 points, fourth place will receive 7 points, and so on. All playoff points will carry through to the end of the Round of 8.
“These are enhancements that the NASCAR fan has long sought, and the entire industry has worked hard to develop a better racing format for our fans,” said Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer.
“This format puts a premium on every victory and every in-race position over the course of the season. Each point can eventually result in winning or losing a championship.”