Opinions vary on new NASCAR chase format

NASCAR officials announced the details of the new chase format Thursday.

The new system will create an elimination, winner-take-all system.
The Chase for the Sprint Cup championship will now be a 16-driver field with a premium placed on winning.
NASCAR will cut four drivers from the field after every three races in the 10-race Chase, leaving four eligible drivers headed into the season finale. The first of those four to cross the finish line will be crowned champion.
NASCAR Chairman Brian France believes this system will be much simpler to follow and add excitement to the season.

"We checked every box we could have," France said Thursday.

"This is pretty clear, you have to win."

However several drivers are already speaking out about the new format. Kyle Busch doesn't believe it will change anything.

"You have NASCAR telling you everyone is going to race differently with this new format," Busch said Thursday.

"We race one-hundred percent every race. If you can tell me we don't want to win every chase race throughout the chase, you're kidding yourself. I just don't get it. I'm very frustrated in the way our discussion went the other day. Whether I get fined for today, I don't know I'll see."

Bristol Motor Speedway's Irwin Tools Night Race is always one of the final regular season races. General Manager Jerry Caldwell is excited about the scenarios the new format can create at the short track.

"There's always been a premium on winning races at Bristol Motor Speedway because of the inherent difficulty," Caldwell said.

"With this new twist in the system it takes it up another notch. In March for the Food City 500, I believe you will see drivers trying to establish an early season win to lock themselves into the Chase. In August, fans will see a sense of desperation from the drivers who have not managed to qualify for one of the Chase spots. It should be exciting."

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