NASCAR made some significant changes to its two minor national series in announcements made on the opening day of the 2016 Charlotte Motor Speedway Media Tour. The announcement made by NASCAR Chairman Brian France had been rumored for months, but France made it official.
After praising the Chase as it works in the Sprint Cup Series, he announced the XFINITY and Camping World Truck Series championship would adopt similar formats. France maintained that since the two minor series were basically developmental, it would help participants at that level get better ready for the next level.
The Chase in the XFINITY series will, unlike the Sprint Cup series, consist of seven races and 12 cars. It will be elimination-based with eliminations after every three races with an emphasis on winning. Four will be eliminated the first round, leaving eight cars which will be paired to four for the final race.
The Camping World Truck Series Chase will start with 12 trucks with elimination to eight in the first round and four for the final race. The Truck Series will have built-in mandatory cautions every 20 minutes until the end of the race. The theory behind this is to help younger teams compete.
France discussed the Charter or Medallion system that many are calling franchising. France admitted that it is not a done deal because there are so many parts of the system that must be worked out. France admitted he was optimistic at the proposal, but admitted that NASCAR’s top series had 30 well-funded teams.
“I defy you to name another racing series that has even half that,” France said.
He also said that no changes would be made to the practice of Sprint Cup drivers competing in the XFINITY or Truck Series.
“We like that happening, France said. “It’s what we are.”
France said he envisioned the new digital dash going further than just giving the teams information about the cars on track.
“I think we will see a day when some of that information will be available on a device you have in your hand in the stands,” France said. “You can bet that manufacturers will make the digital dash part of the future.”