NASCAR reveals format changes including three-segment races

NASCAR has announced its races will be split into three points-scoring segments, created a new title for its 'regular season champion' and dropped the Chase branding from its final rounds

NASCAR reveals format changes including three-segment races

The changes, which were announced on Monday night, will be adopted by the supporting Xfinity and Truck series as well as the premier Cup category with immediate effect.

The top 10 at the end of each of the first two segments of a race will get additional points on a 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 scale, with final race finishing positions now scoring on a 40-35-34-33-32-31-etc basis for the top 35.

There will be a break of around 10 minutes between each segment in a race.

NASCAR has also created a new parallel 'playoff points' score that title-contending drivers will carry through what was formerly known as the Chase.

What is now just 'the playoffs' will still begin at the 27th round with 16 drivers - those with most wins plus the top-scoring non-winners - and come down to a winner takes all decider between four drivers at Homestead.

But the playoff points score will allow bonuses gained during the main part of the season to feature in the title runoff.

The leader at the end of each race segment will get one playoff point, with five for each race winner.

Since the introduction of the Chase format in 2004, points have been reset at the cut-off point.

The championship leader at that stage of the season will now be honoured as the 'regular season champion'.

The top 10 in the 'regular season' standings will gain additional playoff points on a 15-10-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis.

A win in any section of the playoffs will still take a driver through to the next round, but the playoff points will help determine which non-winners make the cut.

NASCAR chairman Brian France said: "Simply put, this will make our great racing even better.

"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."

Steve O'Donnell, NASCAR's executive vice president and chief racing development officer, believes the revamp will appease fans by making the full season more relevant to the championship outcome.

"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," he said.

"This format puts a premium on every victory and every in-race position over the course of the season."

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