The NASCAR Cup Series playoff race at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval is set to be contested with stages and stage breaks.
Since the introduction of stage racing at the start of the 2017 NASCAR Cup Series season, NASCAR has divided each race up into three stages (four for the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway).
The top 10 drivers at the end of each of the first two (or three) stages score points, with 10 points going to the winner, down to one point going to the 10th place finisher. The winner also scores one playoff point.
When a stage ends, a caution flag is thrown, meaning that each race has two (or three) guaranteed cautions that teams can plan their pit strategy around.
However, NASCAR introduced a change to this format for the 2023 season.
Stage racing has still been in effect for all of the road and street course races on the calendar — and all of the oval races, for that matter. However, this season, there have not been any caution flags at the end of the stages in the road and street course events.
This change was debuted at Circuit of the Americas in March and utilized again at Sonoma Raceway in June, the Chicago Street Course in July, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course in August, and Watkins Glen International in August.
For the sixth time this season, this change was set to be in effect in this coming Sunday afternoon’s Bank of America Roval 400 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval.
However, NASCAR made the decision last month to bring back stage breaks for this event, primarily so that all 10 playoff races would utilize the same stage racing format.
This 109-lap race around the 17-turn, 2.28-mile (3.669-kilometer) course in Concord, North Carolina is the sixth and final road or street course race on the 2023 schedule.
There are no more races on this year’s schedule for which the plan is to run stages without planned stage breaks/cautions.
It remains to be seen what NASCAR will do with stage racing moving into 2024. Will road course races continue to see stages and stage points with no stage breaks, or is this weekend’s reversal a precursor to a full-time rule reversal?
FanDuel Sportsbook, which is giving fans an instant $200 just for placing a single $5 bet on Sunday’s race, lists 23XI Racing’s Tyler Reddick as the +500 favorite to win.
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The Bank of America Roval 400 is set to take place at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval this coming Sunday, October 8. It is set to be broadcast live on NBC starting at 2:00 p.m. ET. Be sure to take advantage of FuboTV’s free trial offer now and tune in!