On the third day of NASCAR’s annual media tour, Carl Edwards became the first driver to express serious reservations about the proposed playoff format expected to be made official Thursday.
Edwards, calling himself an “old-school” driver who would rather not see a Chase for the Sprint Cup at all, spent more than 15 minutes explaining why a potential one-race, winner-take-all format might not be the best way for NASCAR to determine its champion.
“You don’t want someone to win 35 races, have a blown tire in one race and not be the champion,” he said. “That would seem kind of odd, juxtaposed to how we’ve crowned a champion – not just in NASCAR, but auto racing.”
For most of its history, the NASCAR champion accumulated the most points over an entire season. In 2004, NASCAR Chairman Brian France implemented the 10-race Chase, which essentially reset the points for the top drivers after a 26-race regular season.
The Chase format has been tweaked a couple times since then – the field expanded and wild card spots were added along with a points system change – but nothing like what NASCAR might announce Thursday. Drivers have said this week they’ve been told of a format that would consist of a trio of three-race segments in the Chase with eliminations after each one, followed by a one-race playoff among four drivers to determine the champion at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
The proposed changes first were reported by The Charlotte Observer.
For more on this story visit: Jeff Gluck, USA Today