NASCAR will implement several new elements to the paint schemes of the 16 contenders to the NASCAR Sprint Chase grid. The new elements will acknowledge the accomplishments of the drivers as they contend for the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship.
As announced in January by Brian France NASCAR Chairman and CEO, the new championship format would expand the field for the Chase for the Championship to 16 from the 12 drivers in previous years. The system would implement a new round-by-round advancement format that ultimately will reward drivers for winning, leading one driver to become the 2014 Sprint Cup Champion.
Any driver, who gained a victory in the first 26 races of the season, would all but secure a spot in the 10 race Chase for the Champion. With the number of drivers being decreased after every three of the Chase races leaving four drivers eligible for the title at Homestead-Miami Speedway in which one of the four remaining drivers to be crowned NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion, the finale is scheduled for November 16.
The championship contenders will have the front splitter/front fascia and windshield header as well as the roof number colored yellow, and the eligible cars will have a Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup logo affixed to the front-quarter panel of their race car.
This paint scheme will be placed on the driver’s car to begin the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, at Chicagoland Speedway on September 14. Upon elimination from the Chase’s first three rounds, the special paint scheme will then be removed from the car.
The changes will be a visible representation of the new Chase format, and in addition, the paint scheme will ensure that fans are able to easily identify each driver in contention as the Chase for the Championship progresses.
The first round will be called the ‘Challenger Round.’ If a driver in the Chase Grid wins a race at either, Chicagoland, New Hampshire, or Dover, that driver automatically advances and their points will be reset to 3,000. Only the top 12 in points after the ‘Challenger Round’ remain in contention.
The second round held at Kansas, Charlotte, and Talladega will be called the ‘Contender Round.’ Again if a driver wins a ‘Contender Round’ race the driver will automatically advance and their points will reset to 4,000. Only the top 8 in points will remain in contention.
The third round will be called the ‘Eliminator Round,’ held at the tracks of Martinsville, Texas, and Phoenix. Likewise if one of the top 8 drivers wins a race in this round the driver will automatically advance and their points will reset to 5,000. The top four in point after the ‘Eliminator Round’ will remain in championship contention all four will have their points reset to 5,000.
The highest finisher, at Homestead-Miami Speedway, of the four eligible drivers in contention will be crowned the NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion and will lift the Sprint Cup.
The 10 race Chase will be televised exclusively on the ESPN family of networks, which includes ABC which will air the night race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
The next NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race will be the Crown Royal Presents the John Wayne Walding 400 at The Brickyard from Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday, July 27. The race coverage will begin at 1 p.m. ET on ESPN.