Everything you need to know about the 2017 NASCAR race format in 60 seconds
NASCAR enters into a new era in 2017 with Monster Energy as the title sponsor and a three-stage racing format taking center stage.
Each race will still remain the same length but be broken into three stages. The breakdown of stage length is dependent on the specific track. The Daytona 500, for instance, will be broken into two 60-lap stages to start with and an 80-lap stage to end the race.
The top-10 finishers of the first two stages receive regular-season points in descending order from 10 to 1, while the stage winner receives one additional playoff bonus point. The playoff points don’t come into effect until the post-season starts at Chicagoland Speedway.
A green and white checkered flag waves at the end of the first two stages, followed by a caution flag. Drivers will have an opportunity to pit under the caution before the green flag waves to start the next segment. All laps run under caution count toward the next stage.
The rules in stage 1 and 2 are the same. The checkered flag will still declare the race winner and the entire field receives points from 40 to 1. In addition, the race winner receives five playoff bonus points and earns a berth into the post-season for winning.
If you’re still struggling to piece together exactly how the format works in 2017, make sure to tune into the 59th running of the Daytona 500 on Feb. 26 at 2 p.m. ET on FOX.
Check out the format for every race in the 2017 Monster Energy Cup Series season below.