NASCAR announced an enhanced competition format that will be implemented in all three of its national series – the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, the NASCAR XFINITY Series and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
Increasing the sense of urgency and emphasizing aggressive racing and strategy, the race format will deliver more dramatic moments over the course of an entire race and season, with playoff point incentives on the line throughout.
“These competition enhancements will create more thrilling moments for our fans to celebrate multiple winners,” track President Rick Brenner said. “There is nothing more exciting than having the regular season championship and playoffs impacted by every race. We are excited to see this in action starting next month at the Daytona 500 and can’t wait to experience it here at MIS in June and August.”
The enhanced format consists of the following:
Races will now consist of three stages, with championship implications in each stage.
The top-10 finishers of the first two stages will be awarded additional championship points.
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 his or her reset total following race No. 26, if that competitor makes the playoffs.
All playoff points will carry through to the end of the third round of the playoffs (Round of 8), with the Championship 4 racing straight-up at Homestead-Miami Speedway for the title.
Championship points following the first two stages will be awarded on a descending scale, with the stage winner receiving 10 points, second receiving 9 points, and so on.
The race winner following the final stage will now receive 40 points, second-place will receive 35, third-place 34, fourth-place 33, and so on.
“Simply put, this will make our great racing even better,” said Brian France, NASCAR chairman and CEO. “I’m proud of the unprecedented collaboration from our industry stakeholders, each of whom had a common goal – strengthening the sport for our fans. This is an enhancement fully rooted in teamwork, and the result will be an even better product every single week.”
NASCAR also announced a playoff bonus structure that will see the regular season points leader honored as the regular season champion, earning 15 playoff points that will be added to the driver’s playoff reset of 2,000. In addition, the top-10 drivers in points leading into the playoffs will receive playoff points, with second place receiving 10 playoff points, third place will earn 8 points, fourth place will receive 7 points, and so on. All playoff points will carry through to the end of the Round of 8.
“These are enhancements that the NASCAR fan has long sought, and the entire industry has worked hard to develop a better racing format for our fans,” said Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer. “This format puts a premium on every victory and every in-race position over the course of the season. Each point can eventually result in winning or losing a championship.”
The first of the track’s two traditional NASCAR weekends in 2017 is June 16-18 with the Corrigan Oil 200 ARCA Racing Series on June 16; NASCAR XFINITY Series on June 17; and the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series FireKeepers Casino 400 is on Father’s Day on June 18.
The Monster Energy Series will wind up its summertime stint at MIS and be back on August 13 with the Pure Michigan 400. The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series LTi Printing 200 is on August 12.
Fans can purchase their tickets to all the Friday and Saturday races at Michigan International Speedway at www.mispeedway.com or by calling 800-354-1010. Now until Jan. 31 tickets start at $10 and all kids 12 and under are free on Fridays and Saturdays.
Tickets for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series FireKeepers Casino 400 and the Pure Michigan 400 go on sale in February. Children 12 and under are free in all sections on Friday and Saturday and on Sundays are half price, ensuring families a chance to see three days of NASCAR action at affordable prices.