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NASCAR begins its second year of its new elimination-style Chase format this weekend at Chicagoland Speedway. The 10-race Chase for the Sprint Cup will feature 16 drivers vying for the series championship.
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The four-round playoff is designed to create a Final Four-like showdown for the season finale Nov. 22 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
How does the Chase work? Here”s a look:
When does NASCAR”s Chase for the Sprint Cup begin?
The Chase begins with the Sept. 20 race at Chicagoland Speedway. The race begins at 3 p.m. ET.
What are the 10 races in the Chase?
Sept. 20 — Chicagoland SpeedwaySept. 27 — New Hampshire Motor SpeedwayOct. 4 — Dover International SpeedwayOct. 10 — Charlotte Motor SpeedwayOct. 18 — Kansas SpeedwayOct. 25 — Talladega SuperspeedwayNov. 1 — Martinsville SpeedwayNov. 8 — Texas Motor SpeedwayNov. 15 — Phoenix International RacewayNov. 22 — Homestead-Miami Speedway
Where are the Chase races on TV?
The 10 Chase races bounce back and forth between NBC and NBCN, it”s cable network. Here”s a look at the TV schedule (all times eastern):
Chicagoland — NBCN, 3 p.m.New Hampshire — NBCN, 2 p.m.Dover, NBCN, 2:30 p.m.Charlotte — NBC, 7 p.m. (Saturday night)Kansas — NBC, 2:15 p.m.Talladega — NBCN, 2:30 p.m.Martinsville — NBCN, 1:15 p.m.Texas — NBC, 2 p.m.Phoenix — NBC, 2:30 p.m.Homestead — NBC, 3 p.m.
How did drivers qualify for the Chase?
The field features 16 drivers — the regular-season points leader, plus the next 15 drivers — as long as they’re in the top 30 in the standings and have attempted to qualify for each race — based on wins and points. There were 11 drivers, including regular-season points leader Kevin Harvick, who qualified by winning races, so the final five spots went to drivers based on points.
How are the drivers seeded in the Chase?
For the first round of the Chase, each driver gets three points for each regular-season win. They are then ranked by the normal tiebreaker in the standings — best finish. So among those with the same number of wins, the driver with the most second-place finishes would be the higher seed.
What are the seedings and current standings for the start of the Chase?
Driver, wins, points
1. Jimmie Johnson, 4, 20122. Kyle Busch, 4, 20123. Matt Kenseth, 4, 20124. Joey Logano, 3, 20095. Kevin Harvick, 2, 20066. Dale Earnhardt Jr., 2, 20067. Kurt Busch, 2, 20068. Carl Edwards, 2, 20069. Brad Keselowski, 1, 200310. Martin Truex Jr., 1, 200311. Denny Hamlin, 1, 200312. Jamie McMurray, 0, 200013. Jeff Gordon, 0, 200014. Ryan Newman, 0, 200015. Paul Menard, 0, 200016. Clint Bowyer, 0, 2000
What are the races in each round of the Chase?
There are four rounds, with the first three consisting of three races each:
1st round: Chicagoland, New Hampshire, Dover2nd round: Charlotte, Kansas, Talladega3rd round: Martinsville, Texas, PhoenixChampionship race: Homestead
What are the names of the Chase rounds?
The first round is being called the “Challenger” round, the second round the “Contender” round and the third round the “Eliminator” round. The final event is dubbed the “Championship” race.
How do drivers advance in the Chase?
Four drivers will be eliminated in each round. Race winners (as long as they are still part of the Chase) automatically advance, with the remainder of the spots based on points scored in the three Chase races. Ties are broken by best finish in that specific round. After the first round, the 12 remaining drivers have their points reset to 3,000. After the second round, the eight remaining drivers have their points reset to 4,000 and after the third round, the four remaining drivers have their points reset to 5,000.
How is the champion determined in the Chase?
The driver who finishes best among the four finalists at Homestead is the champion. There are no bonus points based on a lap led or leading the most laps. The Chase driver among the four that crosses the finish line first wins the championship.
What happens to drivers eliminated from the Chase?
Drivers who are eliminated in the first three rounds have their points adjusted by taking their total points accumulated in Chase races and adding to their point total when they started the Chase. That way, a driver who is knocked out in the first round of the Chase can finish as high as fifth in the final standings.
How did Kyle Busch make the Chase?
Busch missed the first 11 races of the season after suffering a broken leg in a crash in the Xfinity Series race at Daytona. He was granted a medical waiver, however, to make him eligible for the Chase if he won a race and cracked the top 30 in points. Busch returned at Charlotte in May and won the June 28 race at Sonoma in his fifth start after his return. He cracked the top 30 in points with a runnerup finish at Watkins Glen in August and climbed to 27th by the end of the regular season. He wound up winning four races — Sonoma, Kentucky, New Hampshire and Indy — including three in a row.