NASCAR: Significant rule change in effect at Watkins Glen

Watkins Glen, NASCAR (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Watkins Glen, NASCAR (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) /

For only the fifth time in NASCAR Cup Series history, a race featuring stage racing is set to be contested without any stage breaks.

The 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season is set for its fourth road course race — fifth if you include the inaugural street course race at Chicago Street Course back in early July — this Sunday afternoon at Watkins Glen International.

NASCAR made a slight modification to the stage racing format before the 2023 season began, but only for the road and street course events.

Stage racing was introduced to the NASCAR Cup Series six years ago. Races are split up into three stages (four for the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway), and points are awarded to the top 10 drivers in the first two (or three) stages.

The stage winner scores 10 points while the 10th place finisher scores one. The winner also scores one playoff point.

At the end of each stage, the caution flag flies.

But in year number seven of stage racing, that is no longer the case in NASCAR Cup Series road and street course races.

The change was debuted at Circuit of the Americas back in March, and it remained in effect at Sonoma Raceway in June, the Chicago Street Course in July, and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course this past weekend.

As a result, this Sunday’s Go Bowling at The Glen is set to mark the fifth time in Cup Series history that a race is contested with stages and stage points, but no actual stage breaks.

DraftKings Sportsbook, which is giving fans an instant $150 for betting $5, lists two-time Watkins Glen winner Chase Elliott as the +550 favorite to win Sunday’s race.

Odds and availability are subject to change. Lock in your $150 now before it’s too late!

Following the Go Bowling at The Glen, there is just one road course race remaining on the 2023 schedule. This race is the Bank of America Roval 400, which is scheduled to take place at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval on Sunday, October 8. This race is the third and final race in the round of 12 of the playoffs.

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The Go Bowling at The Glen is set to be broadcast live from Watkins Glen International on USA Network beginning at 3:00 p.m. ET. Begin a free trial of FuboTV now and don’t miss it!