NASCAR announced a series of changes to its regular-season points format on Monday, including breaking each race into segments in an effort to heighten drama.
The adjustments will be for all three series after input from industry stakeholders, including drivers and teams, and feedback from race fans.
"[It will] make the racing even more compelling on an hour by hour basis, week in and week out," NASCAR chairman Brian France said.
Here are the details of the changes, as released by NASCAR.
- Races will consist of three stages, with championship implications in each stage. The green flag begins the race, and therefore is Stage 1. Its length is approximately 25-30 per cent of the event's total length and is different for each race, dependent on track size and race length.
- At the conclusion of Stage 1 and Stage 2, there is a caution period for drivers to come down pit road if they choose. Green-flag restarts will begin the next segment.
- The top-10 finishers in each stage will be awarded additional championship points.
- The Chase will now be referred to as the playoffs.
- The winner of the first two stages of each race will receive one playoff point, and the race winner will receive five playoff points. Each playoff point will be added to a driver's reset total following the 26th race, if that competitor makes the playoffs.
- Points for both stage winners and race winners will transfer into the postseason and an official regular-season champion will be crowned, and rewarded with 15 playoff points to the driver's playoff reset of 2,000. The stage format also gives fans a pair of natural breaks in the action.
- All playoff points will carry through to the end of the third round of the postseason (Round of 8), with the Championship 4 racing straight up at Homestead-Miami Speedway for the title.
- The race winner following the final stage will receive 40 points, second-place will earn 35, third-place 34, fourth-place 33, etc.
- Top-10 drivers in regular-season points also will receive playoff points with second place earning 10 points, third place getting eight points, fourth place obtaining seven points, etc.
- There no longer will be a bonus point for leading a lap, or a bonus point for leading the most laps.
- The 150-mile qualifying races at Daytona will be worth points to the top-10 drivers on a 10-to-1 scale but the winners do not get bonus points for the playoffs.
- Teams won't be allowed to replace body panels during a race, and teams will have additional limitations on crash repair. This will likely result in wrecked cars not being able to repair and return to the track.
- In the case of inclement weather, the race is official at the conclusion of Stage 2. Overtime rules remain the same.
- The Caution Clock in the Camping World Truck Series has been eliminated.