NASCAR rule changes for the 2014 Chase are getting put in place. The new Chase format and the NASCAR rule changes were introduced on Thursday (Jan. 30). According to a report from the racing organization itself, the intent of these changes was to make winning more important for every race. It could change the strategies of drivers because winning one race in the first 26 could guarantee a spot in the Chase now.
The Chase grid is expanding from a group of 12 to a field of 16. The first 26 races of the season will be where that final field is set. The best 16 drivers during the season qualify for the Chase, which will begin with race no. 27. The first three races of the Chase will be known as the Challenger Round, where a win in any of the races advances a racer. The leading 12 drivers will advance on to the next round based on wins and points. The second round will be known as the Contender Round and the next three races will decide which eight drivers advance.
Between each round the points are reset, with those drivers remaining as the only ones contending for the crown. After the Contender Round, the next three races will be called the Eliminator Round. Four drivers will advance from that round to what they are calling the Championship Event. That final event will settle the title, with the first of the four drivers to cross the finish line being crowned the new champion.
These NASCAR rule changes and the new Chase format will certainly reward those drivers that win a lot of races and it looks to add a lot of excitement to how everything plays out. It also creates a lot of interest in the final race of the season, which will likely be billed as the Super Bowl of racing.