NASCAR released new elements Tuesday that will appear on the cars of drivers competing in the 2014 16-driver Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. In an emailed press release, NASCAR said the elements will celebrate the accomplishments of those drivers who will contend for the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship.
Cars eligible for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup will have the roof number, the front splitter / front fascia and the windshield header colored yellow, as well as have a Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup logo affixed to the front-quarter panel of their racecar.
NASCAR’s revised Chase format for this season, announced by NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France in January, expands the Chase field to 16 drivers, up from 12 in previous years. It also implements a new round-by-round advancement format with only the top four drivers left to contend for the title at the final race at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Nov. 16.
The new Chase format also seeds the initial field based on wins, thus putting more emphasis on race wins leading up to the Chase. A victory in the first 26 races all but guarantees a berth in the 10-race Chase. This is the first year in the history of the Chase that drivers will be separated from the rest of the field by such an extensive visible paint scheme elements.
These changes serve as a visible symbol of the new Chase format. In addition, the paint scheme elements will ensure that fans are able to easily identify each championship contender as NASCAR’s playoffs progress.
The new celebratory paint scheme introduced Tuesday will be placed on a driver’s car to begin the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, at Chicagoland Speedway on Sept. 14. Once a driver is eliminated after one of the Chase’s first three rounds, the paint scheme will be removed from the car. The final race to determine the field for this year’s Chase will be at Richmond International Raceway on Sep. 6.