The first thing to understand is it is just like every other playoff in professional sports. What has happened during the regular season has no bearing in the end. You need to race well or you are eliminated.
The quirky thing is the Chase for the Sprint Cup goes on amidst regular full-field races of 43 drivers. It’s not like the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup where the golfers hang up their clubs once they are eliminated. The drivers keep racing.
The next phase is called the Contender Round. The top 12 drivers will be competing at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Kansas Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway. They all begin this round with 3,000 points and build from there.
Again, a win advances a driver automatically to the round of eight called the Eliminator. The remaining drivers who don’t win in this stage advance based on points earned during these three races. The bottom four drivers are eliminated from contention.
The three tracks used in the Eliminator Round are: Martinsville Speedway, Texas Motor Speedway and Phoenix International Raceway. As before, a win automatically advances the driver to the championship round.
Only four will qualify for that—and this is the most exciting because it comes down to who wins at Homestead-Miami Speedway in the Ford EcoBoost 400 on Nov. 22. Points don’t matter. It’s all about who crosses that finish line first.
Hope this helps you better under the race for the NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup. It’s made the end of the season a lot more dramatic for race fans.
Photo credits: NASCAR.com