NASCAR set for winner-take-all race for Chase Championship - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

NASCAR set for winner-take-all race for Chase Championship

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NASCAR is changing the format of The Chase.

The Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship will feature a 16-driver field beginning next season. The new playoff will also have a layout built around three elimination rounds and culminates in a winner-take-all finale.

Based on the new format, only four drivers will be alive for the Sprint Cup crown going into the final race on Nov. 16 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The one that finishes first will be the champion.

"The new Chase will be thrilling, easy to understand, and drive competition to a new level," NASCAR CEO Brian France said on the final day of the Sprint Media Tour.

Regular season wins will be the determining factor in who will be part of The Chase field. Fifteen of the 16 playoff spots will go to the drivers with the most victories over 26 regular season races. The only exception is if the driver in question is outside of the top-30 in points at the end of the regular season.

The final Chase spot will go to the regular season points leader.

Three elimination rounds come into play in the playoff. The first three Chase races will be called the Challenger Round after which the bottom four drivers in the field will be eliminated.

The next three races will be known as the Contender Round and result in four more eliminations.

Chase races No. 7-9 make up the Eliminator Round. Four more drivers will be eliminated before the final race of The Chase, which will leave four drivers to compete for the championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway.