On January 23rd, 2017, NASCAR begins a new era in how points and races will be run for all three national divisions. These changes are meant to help the fans see more action on the track from the television standpoint. Experts project that fans will see 20% more laps under green in this new format.
Drivers, team owners, and other industry stakeholders are excited about the changes coming down NASCAR’s pipeline.
“I believe this is part of the natural evolution of our sport as we continue to enhance the product on the race track.The enhancements are a result of unprecedented collaboration between the teams, NASCAR, broadcast partners and drivers, and in direct response to what the fans have expressed a desire for. Stage style racing has a strong history throughout many levels of motorsports, and I’m personally excited to watch as the new strategies play out during the upcoming season,” said Jack Roush of Roush Fenway Racing.
“Today’s announcement will take NASCAR competition to new levels beginning with Speedweeks,” Daytona International Speedway President Chip Wile said. “Race fans will see more can’t-miss moments on the track as every lap of every race is going to impact championships for all three national series. The enhanced format also heightens the importance of the Cam-Duel At Daytona as the 150-mile qualifying races will now determine both starting positions for ‘The Great American Race’ but also award points that will impact the championship. Today’s news is the product of the industry working together as well as listening to the fans,” said Chip While, President of Daytona International Speedway, who was part of industry discussions.
"All of us here at Talladega Superspeedway are extremely excited about the competition changes announced by NASCAR," said Grant Lynch, Chairman of Talladega Superspeedway. "Every heart-pounding lap here – with three and four-wide racing at 200 mph – is going to mean something for every driver. We look forward to hosting our races this May and October with these changes, as they will provide even more winning moments for multiple drivers in these segments. The format will ultimately tie the season together from the start of the Daytona 500 all the way to the Championship at Homestead with better racing."
“Every stakeholder group in our sport has worked together to take NASCAR racing and make it even better. Spectacular sports events are driven by dramatic moments and this sets the stage for 2017 to be one of the greatest seasons in NASCAR history. The new format is going to pay off for NASCAR fans. We looked at all these decisions and all these different opportunites from the eyes of a fan. We all really take that to heart. This isn't just our job. We love the sport and this is for the fans,” said Marcus Smith, President and CEO of Speedway Motorsports Inc. and General Manager of Charlotte Motor Speedway, who was also part of the discussions.
Many Drivers went to Twitter to express their support of the new system.
— Ty Dillon (@tydillon) January 24, 2017
Excited about the new @NASCAR format! Drive hard every lap, sounds good to me!! ?— Daniel Suárez (@Daniel_SuarezG) January 24, 2017
Digging the new @NASCAR racing format. Going to be interesting to see how these stage points effect the way the teams race the entire race.— Clint Bowyer (@ClintBowyer) January 24, 2017
NASCAR has canned all on-track activity due to rain. Tonight’s Bank of America 500 has been postponed until Sunday tentatively at 12 p.m. EST on NBC. NASCAR Xfinity Series will race 45 minutes after the conclusion of the Cup race on NBCSN. Performance Racing Network will have all the radio call for both races.
This will be the second straight weekend there will be a Sprint Cup-Xfinity doubleheader at the same track.
Fire up the scanner, it is time for Crew Chatter with Speedway Digest writers. This week we tackle Charlotte with the question, “Should NASCAR award the regular season champion during the Chase?”
I can see the argument here. Though I think something needs to be put into place where if the regular season saw more than 16 different winners, and the points leader went all throughout the season without a win, maybe give the 16th spot of the Chase to the driver leading the standings after race 26 should this ever happen. Same goes for the lower two series as well. It's unlikely that would ever happen, but there is still a slight possibility.
I have no opinion on whether or not regular-season leaders should be rewarded but I've been listening to all the shows on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio discuss this and some of the callers have come up with some wacky ideas. I think it should be a monetary incentive. I don't know if they still do but they have actually done this in rodeo, rewarded the regular-season winners with a certain amount of money. It's nice to leave Richmond as the points/Chase leader but when the playoffs begin, it doesn't really mean anything because the slate is wiped clean every three races.
I think NASCAR should absolutely reward a driver for "winning" the regular season based on points. It's kind of a win/win for everyone, if you think about it.
The fans that want NASCAR to revert back to the old days where points really matter and this Chase format isn't in existence, it gives them a little of that back.
The drivers already have incentive to win in the regular season, but now they would have to temper back their driving styles to a certain extent in order to remain solid based on points for the first 26 weeks of the season.
As for what I think the reward should be, that's a different story. This might not be a popular opinion, but I believe if you win the regular season, you deserve not only a bye into the Round of 12, but an automatic bid into the Round of 8.
I say this because the regular season makes up just under 75% of the season as a whole. There should be a bigger reward for the person who emerges victorious from those races as "the best", right?
I do believe that NASCAR should grant the regular season points leader something.It is sad to see that a team that has the best “record” lose that record when it comes to the Chase. Drivers work hard throughout the season, and to lose that points lead is ridiculous. What should it be? That is the question that has to be answered. I personally believe that there should be either a first round bye or that the regular season points leader have first choice of pit stall UNTIL they’re knocked out of the race. However, I will leave that decision up to the powers that be in Charlotte and Daytona.
NASCAR has canned all on-track activity due to rain. Tonight’s Drive for the Cure 300 has been postponed until Sunday tentatively at 11 a.m. EST on NBCSN. Performance Racing Network will begin at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday. The field for the Drive for the Cure 300 will be set per the rule book.
Cole Custer, Matt DiBenedetto, and Ryan Ellis are the three drivers who will not get to take on Sunday. Kyle Larson will start from the pole, Erik Jones will start second, Joey Logano will start third, Daniel Suarez will start fourth, and Brandon Jones rounds out the top-five
NASCAR is hopeful and will do its best to get in tomorrow’s Bank of America 500 in at the scheduled time.
Ryan Preece won the Southern Slam 150 at Charlotte Motor Speedway for the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour. This is Preece’s third career win at Charlotte Motor Speedway, and his first win of 2016.
“it’s pretty special. We’ve had a couple heartbreakers here. I am really happy to be here in victory lane,” said Preece in post-race victory lane interview.
George Brunnhoelzl III finished second, James Civali finished third, Danny Bohn finished fourth, and Bobby Measmer Jr. rounded out the top-five.
Burt Myers has won the Whelen Southern Modified Championship. Myers has three wins, nine top-fives, and 10 top-10 finishes during the season to beat out Andy Seuss. This is his second championship.
“There is just something about this series that ranks hire than anything else. There is this special feeling. It feels just as good as if I had to win the race like 2010,” said Myers in post-race media availability.
The race saw an average speed of 45.862 mph. The time of the race was 50 minutes and 38 seconds.
The Southern Slam 150 from Charlotte Motor Speedway will air on NBCSN on October 14th at 3:30 p.m. EST.