January 19th, 2016
Today, Brian France and NASCAR officials announced that a seven-race playoff system will be implemented for the 2016 XFINITY Series season to crown a series champion.
The playoff system has been adopted from the Sprint Cup Series and will feature three elimination rounds culminating at Championship Weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway. A win in the first 26 races all but guarantees a driver entry into The Chase, provided the driver is in the top 30 in points and has attempted to qualify for each race. Drivers who win two Dash4Cash bonuses also qualify for The Chase.
What RCR Drivers Are Saying
“It’s a great idea to add a Chase to this series. More excitement. More on the line every weekend. More chances to redeem yourself after a bad race,” said 2015 series championship contender Ty Dillon.
Series veteran Brendan Gaughan was ecstatic about today’s announcement, “I think it’s fantastic! Last year I talked extensively how four bad races cost us any shot at the championship,” Gaughan said. “Now I can approach it like I never have because losing points in that one race may not matter as much anymore.”
The Chase format doesn’t change 2016 Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender Brandon Jones approach to the season. “It’s already a goal of mine to be consistent and race for wins, and having a Chase format just further emphasizes that.”
Jones is already strategizing his plan of attack for the 2016 season, “I’ll be visiting a lot of tracks for the first time, and I hope that we’re able to survive and have consistent finishes at those places; for the tracks that I’ve been to before and I feel confident at, I want to attack those tracks and compete for the win.”
Judging by the success of the Chase in the Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR hopes for the same with the XFINITY Series. “Ultimately this will benefit the fans with more on the line each and every race,” Dillon said. Drivers are excited about the change heading into 2016 and we’ll find out who will qualify for The Chase as the XFINITY Series season begins Feb. 20 at Daytona International Speedway.
For a full breakdown of how the NASCAR XFINITY Series Chase format will work, CLICK HERE.