As NASCAR drivers prepare for the new season next month, the ruling body has been making a number of changes to the way those races will be run.
When Sprint took over sponsorship of the premiere racing series, they made some changes to the way the series champion was decided and “The Chase” was created. Over the years, there have been some modifications to the system, resulting in the current format.
The Xfinity series will also use the last seven races of the season to determine the series Champion.
Last season the final race in “The Chase” brought record breaking numbers in television and internet views for the Sprint Cup series.
New Championship Rules – This year NASCAR is bringing “The Chase” championship format to the “Camping World Truck and Xfinity racing series.
For the Truck series the seven final races of the season will be designated for “The Chase” where eight drivers will be eligible for the Championship with a winner crowned at the final race in Homestead-Miami Speedway.
The Xfinity series will have 12 drivers to begin their championship series; with drivers being eliminated along the way
Some of the NASCAR drivers run in more than one series, any Sprint Cup driver who made it to the championship rounds last season will not be eligible for the championship in the Camping World or Xfinity series.
The truck series will begin their Chase races in New Hampshire, Xfinity will begin in Kentucky, and the Sprint Cup series will begin in Chicago; but all will crown a winner in the final race of the season in Homestead-Miami.
Other changes coming to the NASCAR racing series are:
The Caution Clock – NASCAR is introducing the caution clock for the Camping World Truck Series. Normally a caution flag is waved for debris on the racing surface, a car crash, or inclement weather.
The caution clock will be set for 20 minutes and at the end of that time period the flagman will wave the yellow flag. If the caution flag is waved what any reason during the 20 minute time frame, then the clock is reset for 20 minutes. The caution clock will be “turned off” with 20 laps remaining in the race. NASCAR has a few adjustments planned for longer tracks and the dirt track at Eldora.
In a normal race whenever a caution flag is thrown the first car/truck that is one lap down is awarded the “lucky dog” – the driver gets his lap back and becomes the last car on the lead lap. There will be no “lucky dog” when the yellow flag comes out for the caution clock.
Stopping on pit road for service during a caution flag s more beneficial to the teams than having to make a “green flag” stop; and the new 20 minute caution flags will allow teams time to work on their trucks and make the appropriate adjustments.
The new caution clock will eliminate the runaway driver who is way out in front of the field several seconds ahead of his fellow drivers since it will bunch the trucks back up when the yellow comes out.
Eligibility for “The Chase” is determined first by drivers winning races and then for drivers who have not won a race, their series points will be used.
Dash 4 Cash – The Dash 4 Cash returns but this time around the drivers will have to race for who will be a part of it in the main race via two heat races. This year’s Dash 4 Cash races are at the Bristol Motor Speedway, Richmond International Raceway, Dover International Speedway, and Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Winners of the Dash 4 Cash will earn $100,000. Any driver who wins two Dash 4 Cash races will be included in the playoff or “The Chase” rounds.
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