Here at the cat house we are at what we refer to as the happiest time of the year. While we miss minor league baseball, we do still have the MLB. College football is in full swing, and NASCAR is starting the chase.
This season things will be so much different, and interesting. With ratings for NASCAR taking a dive the last couple years. Throw in a controversy at the last race before the chase in 2013.. NASCAR decided it was time to make a major change to how they decide their champion. What they have come up with is a very interesting formula. A new system that guaranteed race winners from the regular season in the chase. Four spots were added so instead of the twelve we've known for a few years it is now sixteen.
Starting things off we have the first three races at Chicagoland, New Hampshire, and Dover. After these three races the field will whittle off the four worst chasers in points, and become twelve. Making things even more interesting is that if you are a chaser, and win any of the first three races you are guaranteed to reaching that final twelve. Talk about throwing a huge wrench into things. This is all part of NASCAR wanting to make winning more valuable. What happens to the four taken out has been a sort of question mark. I read that at seasons end they will be in the 13th to 16th place. The wife says she heard they go back to their original spot in points, and join everyone else. Technically this would mean a guy not even in the chase could end his year top ten in points, and a chaser could end up farther back than 16th. Until the first four cars are eliminated I guess we won't know.
In the next round all twelve will have their points reset at even. From that point there will be three new races, and the top eight teams in points will advance to round three. Winning a race will be meaningless except for the higher points you get over the other eleven cars challenging you. Starting with this portion of the chase I believe one bad race, and you are done. In the past you could take one or two bad races, and had enough time to recover. This new system doesn't give that buffer for a bad day. Interestingly Talladega is one of the three races during this stretch. Talladega is known as the home of 'the big one', and can take out half the field with one wreck. How would you like your season ended because someone not in the chase screwed up?
Round three comes with three new races, and only eight drivers. Nothing too exciting to mention here as points are once again reset, and the best four advance. Another set where one bad day ruins the season, and leaves you wondering what could have been. From here we move down to the final four.
The final round is a one race winner takes all. The one car out of the four that finishes the best will win the title. I love this part the most as except for a couple years this race has been meaningless. The eventual champion has been up so many points that they were declared champion going into the race. So forcing everyone to go hard as any of the four go into the race with a chance to be the chanp.
Another change is to the cars themselves.
My guess is this was for the fans to know who is in, and who is out. Until I see these cars on the track, and racing I will leave my opinion on this out. What I can say is the picture above doesn't look that terrible.
With our excitement around here I plan on posting every Sunday night about the chase. My plan will be to talk about two or three drivers. The first will be the race winner, followed by the points leader, and then our favorite driver Kyle Busch. Much like the pictures used in this post all the cards will be taken from an internet search. The Kyle cards will be from my very small collection that doesn't contain anything other than commons. Regardless of how far he goes I will still post Kyle's last ten race results. There will be one exception when we are on vacation. Those days my mind will be farther away from sports as it can get.
So let's go chasing!!