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2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series

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Its that time again folks, the racing season is about to begin and with a lot of changes with teams, qualification and possibly the chase. This should be an interesting year in Sprint cup, Jimmie has 6 and we have a strong rookie of the year class with Austin Dillon bringing back the 3 & Kyle Larson coming in just to name a few. Plus with Harvick & Kurt Busch going to Stewart Haas, Truex Jr. going to Furniture Row. This should be an interesting season. Let's however get started with the rumor with the chase...

Via Jayski

Chase Scenario:

NASCAR is planning a vast restructuring of the points system in its premier Sprint Cup Series that would greatly emphasize winning races and feature eliminations in its Chase playoff system, according to multiple sources briefed on the plan this week. In addition to expanding the Chase field from 12 to 16 drivers, a win in the season's first 26 races would virtually ensure a driver entry into the championship Chase. If there were more than 16 winners, the 16 with the most wins and highest in points would gain entry.
Once the Chase field was set, a round of eliminations similar to the NCAA tournament would take place after the third, sixth and ninth race of the Chase, culminating with the championship determined by a winner-takes-all season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Under the proposed system - which could still change before an expected announcement later this month - winning would become virtually a necessity to make the Chase and win the championship.

Qualifying:

NASCAR has scheduled a teleconference with Robin Pemberton, Vice President of Competition and Racing Development for NASCAR, to discuss changes to NASCAR qualifying in 2014. The conference is scheduled for 4:00pm/et. Details could be released prior to that.

So thoughts?

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Imagine someone like David Ragan or Michael Waltrip winning one plate race and stealing a spot from a guy who is inside the top 16, like a Menard or Almirola.

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These recent rumored rule changes have kind of made me sad to be a NASCAR fan. Most of it comes from the supposed 6th point change to the chase. It is getting old. I think we should just keep it as it is right now or go back to the pre-wild card format with the 12 drivers.

As for Qualifying, im up for a change. I'd like to see how they qualify at the road courses and use it for all tracks.

The 16 man elimination sounds like something people call in to recommend as a replacement on the Sirius Speedway radio show on the NASCAR Sirius station every afternoon. I'm not for it.

Finally, for the rookie class of 2014, this should be exciting. THREE more rookies were added to the ROTY list for this season, as Ryan Truex, Alex Bowman, and Justin Allgaier were confirmed to compete full-time in 2014. Seems to be one of few bright spots this season

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Imagine someone like David Ragan or Michael Waltrip winning one plate race and stealing a spot from a guy who is inside the top 16, like a Menard or Almirola.

I would think that they're would some sort of minimum races attempted or points for it to work.

As for, qualifying, I thought the Road Course style was already confirmed. Elimination style qualifying might be up for consideration as well.

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Qualifying: Should be a nice change. It worked out very well on the road courses. Only place I can see that being an issue is short tracks.

Anything NASCAR is Considering in Regards to The Chase That Has Been Discussed:

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http://www.nascar.com/en_us/news-media/articles/2014/1/22/2014-nascar-qualifying-changes-multicar-group.html

At tracks measuring 1.25 miles in length or larger, qualifying for the Coors Light Pole Award will consist of three rounds:

The first qualifying elimination round will be 25 minutes in duration and includes all cars/trucks. The 24 cars/trucks that post the fastest single lap from the first qualifying round will advance to the second round.

The remaining cars/trucks will be sorted based on their times posted in the first round of qualifying in descending order.

The second qualifying elimination round will be 10 minutes in duration and the 12 cars/trucks that post the fastest single lap time will advance to the third and final round. The fastest remaining cars/trucks earn positions 13th through 24th based on their times posted in qualifying in descending order.

The third and final qualifying round will be five minutes in duration and the fastest single lap time will determine positions 1st through 12th in descending order.

There will be a five-minute break between each qualifying round.

At tracks measuring less than 1.25 miles, qualifying for the Coors Light Pole Award will consist of two rounds:

The first qualifying elimination round will be 30 minutes in duration and includes all cars/trucks. The 12 cars/trucks that post the fastest single lap time from the first qualifying round will advance to the second and final round.

The remaining cars/trucks will be sorted based on their times posted in the first round of qualifying in descending order.

There will be a 10-minute break between the two qualifying rounds.

The second and final qualifying round will be 10 minutes in duration and the fastest single lap time posted will determine positions 1st through 12th in descending order.

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Why does Brian France insist on meddling with the Chase? Sure the whole Richmond scandal happened; but what are the odds that lightning strikes twice in that kind of situation?

Imagine someone like David Ragan or Michael Waltrip winning one plate race and stealing a spot from a guy who is inside the top 16, like a Menard or Almirola.

Eh, they'd probably be elminiated when the first round of cuts happen. If you'd be in Menard/Almirola's position; you'd better win one before you get locked out.

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Well, we can put the Dodge rumors to rest, for now.... :(

http://msn.foxsports.com/nascar/story/spencer-dodge-won-t-return-to-nascar-any-time-soon-012414

"While Dodge continues to discuss stock-car racing, according to Ralph Gilles, president and CEO of SRT Brand and Motorsports, Chrysler Group LLC, "the timing isn't right." But Gilles is well aware that stock-car enthusiasts miss the Dodge brand in NASCAR's garages” so never say never. "We haven't forgotten about NASCAR," Gilles told FOX Sports on Friday. "We have a lot of pressure on our capital right now."

"But timing is everything. To get back in the sport is not an insignificant investment. It's something that we've said no to. This year is out of the question, but the future, anything could happen. The fans want us back, so we'll see."

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Well, we can put the Dodge rumors to rest, for now.... :(

http://msn.foxsports.com/nascar/story/spencer-dodge-won-t-return-to-nascar-any-time-soon-012414

"While Dodge continues to discuss stock-car racing, according to Ralph Gilles, president and CEO of SRT Brand and Motorsports, Chrysler Group LLC, "the timing isn't right." But Gilles is well aware that stock-car enthusiasts miss the Dodge brand in NASCAR's garages so never say never. "We haven't forgotten about NASCAR," Gilles told FOX Sports on Friday. "We have a lot of pressure on our capital right now."

"But timing is everything. To get back in the sport is not an insignificant investment. It's something that we've said no to. This year is out of the question, but the future, anything could happen. The fans want us back, so we'll see."

When Gilles mentioned, " "We have a lot of pressure on our capital right now," he was immediately referring to the fact thar FIAT finally took full control of Chrysler LLC on Monday. Everything could be on the table for Sergio Marchionne.

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With this potential new system, you could win 35 consecutive races, and finish 43rd in the 36th race, and not be the champion. That is fine for football, but not auto racing.

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Welp, they did it. They changed up the Chase once again. Here is what went down:

- A Driver must be in the Top 30 in points

- This means it is somewhat likely that a driver like David Ragan, Danica Patrick, etc. can still make the Chase.

- The Top 15/16 drivers with wins + the points leader after 26 races automatically receive spots.

- The Chase has now been broken down into Rounds: Chase Races 1-3 (Challenger Round), 4-6 (Contender), 7-9 (Eliminator), and 10 (Championship) are the 4 rounds.

- After each round, 4 drivers will be eliminated.

- round 1, 13-16

- after 2, 9-12

- after 3, 5-8

- The Final race will be a "winner-take-all" race with the highest finishing driver of the 4 finalists taking home the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship Trophy

- If there are not 15 winners, the remaining spots go to those who have the highest remaining points

This is all I can make sense of. The rest of this is on Jayski's Site. Basically, someone (say... Denny Hamlin, for example) can not have a win, be 2nd in points after the 26th race, and only look forward to a 17th place finish in points AT BEST while someone hanging on to the 30th spot in points by 3-4 points would replace him.

If I had a table/chair/lightweight-piece-of-furniture near me when word got to me, I would've flipped it.

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I really can't wrap my head around the changes to the Chase. It does sound interesting that there'd be 4 drivers set to win the championship heading into the final week in Homestead-Miami this coming November though.

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I'm probably going to be in the minority, but I like the changes made to the chase. Its interesting but it will take some getting used to but I think it'll all work out...

I forgot to mention this on the other one, but the trucks are also getting an upgrade.

Toyota:

2014toyota.jpg

Ford:

29coopernose.jpg

Chevrolet:

14cvalg.jpg

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The trucks got a nice facelift. The Toyota and Ford trucks are a little heavy in the front grill area, but I believe that's how they are as street models.

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They look like actual trucks now. I like them.

As far as the chase goes, I'm not a fan. I don't think it's going to improve the racing. Won't teams just play it safe to be outside of the bottom 4 drivers since a crash at any point during the chase will practically eliminate you at the end of that "round"? I'd rather see something that adds incentive for winning so that guys aren't just content with a solid finish.

I will say this, though... the last race is going to be awesome.

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I will say this, though... the last race is going to be awesome.

With 4 drivers mathematically eligible to win the Sprint Cup, I don't think we've really seen anything like that since the 1992 Hooters 500 in which Davey Allison, Bill Elliot, eventual champion Alan Kulwicki, Kyle Petty, Handsome Harry Gant and Mark Martin all had a shot to win the title.

Sure, this will be whittled down, but it'll make the Homestead race very exciting, whether it be from a racing standpoint or a storyline standpoint.

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Sweet Sixteen

Dirty Dozen

Elite Eight/Crazy 8

Final Four

Welcome to the 2014 NASCAR Chase.

Homestead/Miami Speedway testing will now include "I just wanted to rattle his cage," practice.

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They look like actual trucks now. I like them.

As far as the chase goes, I'm not a fan. I don't think it's going to improve the racing. Won't teams just play it safe to be outside of the bottom 4 drivers since a crash at any point during the chase will practically eliminate you at the end of that "round"? I'd rather see something that adds incentive for winning so that guys aren't just content with a solid finish.

I will say this, though... the last race is going to be awesome.

First of all the elimination of drivers at the end of "rounds" is nothing new. If you paid attention to the Chase, drivers are eliminated after about the third race and have no chance. Secondly, no teams won't play it safe, because a win automatically moves you on to the next round and multiple wins ensures you of a better starting position in the next round. And the fear that someone wins at a plate track and doesn't deserve to be in, well, yes he does. He did something that a lot of other drivers haven't done. Does it make him championship material? No. Let's be honest, every year, only about 4 guys are legitimate contenders for the title, adding 4 more doesn't do much of anything. Truthfully, guys 8-16 have no chance and are just cannon fodder. Sure there are going to be years like Tony Stewart's last title run where he started the Chase in like 9th and won 5 races, bu that won't happen that much.

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I don't really follow NASCAR these days very much (one of my brothers was the racing fan, and we don't live with our parents anymore so we've drifted) but between the rules change for the final race and what Cowboyfan92 is referencing, I can't help but think this is basically NASCAR's version of trying to re-create Night 162 from the 2011 MLB season on a yearly basis. Of course, concepts that don't work well in one sport may work well in a different sport. I'll let one of you more intelligent folk put a gauge on just how on/off I am.

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So.

Just out of curiosity. What's stopping a team with a title contender from ordering one of its non-contending drivers to spend all of Homestead playing kamikaze with the other contenders?

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