New Chase Format: The Breakdown

Well…the rumors were true.

The “NEW” Chase is set.

Twitter, Facebook, and forums alike exploded with disgust as soon as Brian France started announcing the new Chase format and frankly, fans aren’t happy. Drivers seem to be for it for the most part as well as teams and crew chiefs.

Have you made your decision on the new Chase? Here is how it breaks down. (From

VICTORY: A victory in the first 26 races likely will guarantee a driver a position in the 10-race Chase with the final race being Richmond.

MORE DRIVERS: The Chase field will expand to include 16 drivers instead of 12…or 13 if you are Jeff Gordon! It will be known as the Chase Grid. A win by a championship-eligible driver in any Chase race automatically clinches the winning driver a spot in the next Chase round

ELIMINATION: Every three races, the championship field will decrease.

  • 16 to start in the Chase Grid known as the Challenger Round (Chicago, New Hampshire, Dover)
  • 12 after Chase race No. 3 known as the Contender Round (Kansas, Charlotte, Talladega)
  • eight after Chase race No. 6 known as the Eliminator Round (Martinsville, Texas, Phoenix)
  • four after Chase race No. 9 known as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship (Homestead)

HOMESTEAD: Four drivers will enter the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship with a chance for the Cup, with the highest finisher among those four capturing the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series title.

ELIGIBILITY: The top 15 drivers with the most wins over the first 26 races will earn a spot in the Chase Grid. The 16th Chase position will go to the points leader after race No. 26, if he/she does not have victory. In the event that there are 16 or more different winners over 26 races, the only winless driver who can earn a Chase Grid spot would be the points leader after 26 races.

If there are fewer than 16 different winners in the first 26 races, the remaining Chase Grid positions will go to those winless drivers highest in points. If there are 16 or more different winners in the first 26 races, the ties will first be broken by number of wins, followed by NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver points.

BONUS POINTS: Prior to the start of the Chase, all Chase Grid drivers will have their points adjusted to 2,000, with three additional bonus points added to their total for each win in the first 26 races.

There you have it. The new Chase format. What are your thoughts? Comment below and let us know!

Tags: Brian France Championship Changes Chase Chase For The Sprint Cup NASCAR Sprint Cup Series

  • brentsn

    Being 55 and being a fan or involved in racing my whole life , I guess makes me an old timer. I also grew up close to Notre Dame and the Indy500 is my Christmas and THE biggest thing in my life. So I grew up around tradition. However I understand sometimes change is needed even when I myself , don’t like it. I don’t like how NASCAR is attempting to change the sport of auto racing. Racing is not a circus , its a legit dangerous sport , even with all of todays safety measures. There will always be auto racing. If NASCAR folded , there would still be auto racing. NASCAR is not the sport…it is a part of the sport. NASCAR became popular and exploded in the 90′s. Racing is a unique sport , there is no home team , every race 95% of the crowd has to travel. It seems to me , the more gimmicks they’ve added , the more crowds have dwindled. The main culprits is HD TV and the economy. NASCAR is trying to overcome this with gimmicks and changes. The way I see these chase changes…a very good team and driver will still win the championship. But most likely , it won’t be THE most deserving driver and team that may have kicked ass all year long. NASCAR is trying to manufacture an exciting ending to the year no matter what. Thats not how sports work. Whats next ? Are they going to start pulling straws or flipping a coin to name the champion ?? Racing is not a basketball tournament. There are 43 competitors each game , not 2 .

    • Katie

      Best response I’ve read about this new Chase thus far and even though I have only been a fan for a few years, I can already these new changes driving fans away. Sad that those at NASCAR can’t see that.