NASCAR is thinking about shaking up the Chase.
The proposed changes, reported in the Charlotte Observer, have the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup expanding its field to 16 drivers by practically guaranteeing a spot in the Chase to any driver who wins one of the first 26 races.
Once the Chase gets underway, there would be several elimination rounds all leading to a winner-take-all showdown at Homestead-Miami Speedway, the final race of the season.
While the changes are not official, those from the NASCAR world are already reacting on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio:
Kurt Busch #41 reacted to the changes with Claire B Lang and had concerns about a lucky win overshadowing season-long consistency.
I know when I won [the Chase for the Sprint Cup] at Homestead in 2004, I had to work my way into that Chase race to be eligible to win the championship by a season long effort. It doesn’t need to be just a random one-race win gets you in the finals.
Carl Edwards #99 thinks winning is special and the drivers already work hard enough to win races.
Denny Hamlin #11 and Brad Keslowski #2 tweeted their thoughts:
Darrell Waltrip thinks the increased focus on winning races doesn’t solve much.
“You don’t have to reward people for winning. We don’t have to give more points for doing those things. Points are irrelevant,” Waltrip said. “I don’t see adding more points for doing things is going to change anything. It just means that the same guys will just get more points. That’s all it really means.”
#3 Austin Dillon‘s crew chief Gil Martin likes the proposed changes, saying “Change just spices everything up … puts everybody kind of on an even playing field.”
SiriusXM NASCAR Radio‘s Pete Pistone and Mike Bagley chimed in.
And, of course, the fans didn’t pull any punches.
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(Lauren Driller contributed to this post)