NASCAR Chase filtering to lower levels
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — NASCAR is expanding its Chase for the Championship format to include its feeder series, meaning the champions from the Xfinity and truck series will now be crowned in a four-driver shootout at the season finale.
The format, announced Tuesday by NASCAR chairman and CEO Brian France, mostly mirrors the playoff-style setup used to determine the Sprint Cup champion the past two years. That system has 16 drivers race through three rounds of eliminations to establish a field of four in which the highest finisher in the finale wins the championship.
The Xfinity and truck series will use a seven-race Chase to decide their champions. The Cup series uses a 10-race format.
All three series will end at Homestead-Miami Speedway. However, the three playoffs will begin at different tracks: Chicago (Sprint Cup), Kentucky (Xfinity) and New Hampshire (trucks).
There will be 12 drivers eligible for the Xfinity Chase, which will then be whittled to eight drivers and conclude with a final four at Homestead. In Trucks, the format is eight drivers cut down to six, then a final four at Homestead.
NASCAR said the 16 Sprint Cup drivers who made last year's Chase won't be eligible for lower-tier championship races. That eliminates Kyle Busch, Matt Kenseth, Denny Hamlin, Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano — all often moonlight in at least the Xfinity series — from participating in the season finale.
Gibbs changes: Joe Gibbs Racing moved Dave Rogers from crew chief for Hamlin to the same post with Carl Edwards' team. Mike Wheeler was promoted from the Xfinity series to replace Rogers.
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Olympics: Ticket sales for the Rio de Janeiro Games are disappointing to organizers. Only about half of the 4.5 million tickets aimed at the domestic audience have been sold.
Sailing: The scheduled Day 2 at the Key West regatta was canceled because organizers deemed the winds to be too high to safely sail in.