NASCAR has expanded their so-called Chase Series playoff by adding in the winners of their lower level Xfinity Series and Truck Series in a race finale between all the series’ winners.
The format used by NASCAR the last two years to determine its Sprint Cup champion had 16 drivers race through three rounds of eliminations to establish a field of four in which the highest finisher in the finale won the championship. Going forward from that base, NASCAR will use a seven-race playoff to decide the champions of both the Xfinity and Camping World Truck Series and then include their champions in a finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway – though all three will begin at different tracks: Chicago (Sprint Cup), Kentucky (Xfinity) and New Hampshire (Trucks) – dousing the potentially much more entertaining spectacle of having a truck race with cars.
There will be 12 drivers eligible for the Xfinity Series Chase playoff, which will then be whittled to eight drivers and conclude with a final four championship race at Homestead. Similarly, in the Truck Series, the format will begin with eight drivers cut down to six and then a final four at Homestead. NASCAR also clarified that the 16 Sprint Cup drivers who qualified for last year’s Chase will not be eligible to compete in the lower-tier championship races.