Change is here: Are Nationwide, Truck Series next?
During Thursday’s Sprint Media Tour in Charlotte, N.C., NASCAR Chairman Brian France outlined sweeping changes to how the champion is determined in the Sprint Cup Series.
The new format will feature a Chase field of 16 championship-eligible drivers, who will battle in a trio of three-race eliminations over the course of nine weeks, with the championship decided between four drivers in a winner-takes-all event in the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
While these sweeping changes hit the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, don’t expect any changes in how the Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series champions are crowned.
Nationwide Series managing director Wayne Auton says the Sprint Cup Series should stand out from the other two series, and be highlighted with an exciting Chase format since that is NASCAR’s premier division.
In addition, Auton pointed out that in 2013, the Nationwide Series had three championship battles — drivers title, owners title and manufacturer title — come down to the final race of the year.
Camping World Truck Series managing director Chad Little reiterated Auton’s thoughts, saying, "We’re real proud of what we have right now."
That does not mean changes won’t happen down the road, though.
"We’re taking a look at how this plays out for (the Sprint Cup Series), and how that affects Nationwide and Truck," said Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president of racing operations. "We’ll certainly have discussions about do you change that going forward, as well. We want to have that dialog this season with competitors and how that plays out.
"We’ve had some really good storylines in both those series, and if we can elevate that, we will," he said. "We’re planning on having this process with the race teams."
"If we thought a direction that could lead to more mentions for a sponsor was the right way to go and, ultimately — as Brian (NASCAR Chairman Brian France) said — if it checked all the boxes for the series, we would certainly do that," he said.