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NASCAR Puts Premium On Winning In Revamped Chase Format…And RR-AZ Begins To “Fill Out” Their NASCAR Playoff Bracket”

NASCAR Puts Premium On Winning In Revamped Chase Format…And RR-AZ Begins To “Fill Out” Their NASCAR Playoff Bracket”
By Jim Utter The Charlotte Observer
A final four and winner-take-all.  Those are familiar concepts as to how many successful sports leagues decide their champions.
NASCAR now has joined what it hopes is the more “relevant” party.
NASCAR chairman Brian France unveiled a vast restructuring of the Chase for the Sprint Cup format, which includes expanding the field from 12 to 16 drivers, adding elimination rounds and a winner-take-all season finale.
The proposed changes were first reported Jan. 17 by the Observer.
“This new format rewards winning. It elevates the importance of every race across the entire schedule,” France said Thursday on the final day of the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour at the Charlotte Convention Center.
“It ultimately rewards those drivers and teams who perform at the highest level when the championship is on the line.”
While hits was the fourth change in the championship format since France created the 10-race Chase during 2004, it is the most radical in scope.
“The announcement we’re making today is evidenced, I think, by 65 years later, NASCAR still wants to be relevant, still wants to be a leading-edge form of entertainment in sports, and this is how you do that,” said NASCAR President Mike Helton.
“You move, you move the gauge, you move the level of excitement by making big decisions.”