Put an Offense Mentality in the Chase – Revisited

In the first round of the Chase Martin Truex Jr. won two of the three races in the Round of 16 of the NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup. It begged the question. What if you can eliminate drivers from the Chase by winning multiple races?  So what would have happened?

In the round of 16, Martin Truex Jr. won two races and Kevin Harvick one. Both drivers were Chase Contenders. Because Truex won two races then one driver would be eliminated from the Round of 12 in the addition to the four originally planned. Martin Truex Jr. would have then eliminated a potential contender. In this case that driver was Austin Dillon the lowest in points of the 12 Chase drivers who did not win a race.

In the round of 12 (only 11 drivers), Jimmie Johnson, Kevin Harvick and Joey Logano won races. All were Chase Contenders. Kevin Harvick, because this was his second Chase win would eliminate a driver from the Round of 8. This is where it potentially gets confusing. Since there was only 11 drivers the bottom four are eliminated. They are Brad Keselowski, Chase Elliott, Martin Truex Jr. and Denny Hamlin. Carl Edwards the next lowest in points of the Chase drivers who did not win a race would be eliminated due to Harvick’s win. This would leave Jimmie Johnson, Kurt Busch, Joey Logano, Matt Kenseth, Kyle Busch, and Kevin Harvick. Only six drivers because of the two multiple wins.

In the round of 8 (only 6 drivers), Jimmie Johnson, Carl Edwards and Joey Logano won races.  In this case Johnson and Logano had already won races so they would have eliminated two drivers from the final race (Race of four). Because a driver who wins in a round automatically moves on to the next round this would leave only Jimmie Johnson and Joey Logano to fight it out at Homestead Miami for the Championship.

Although this format didn’t appear to eliminate the Champion from winning, it did change who was a contender for the Championship. It would have also changed the complexity and strategy of the last race. It puts an even greater emphasis on winning which is what NASCAR intended with this format.

Brian Berg Jr. is a NASCAR writer for BehindPitRow.com.

Feature Photo Credit: 322798 Chris Trotman/Getty Images

2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Schedule

2017 is the inaugural season Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. Monster Energy will be ushering a new era of NASCAR now that Tony Stewart has joined Jeff Gordon in retirement. Monster is expected to bring even more Energy to the sport as the current stars of NASCAR move over so the new ones can make their mark.

They’re a fun brand that’s going to interact with our core fans in kind of a cool, neat way actually, and we’ve seen some of the plans, and they’ll get bigger and more robust as we go along.” Brian France

Changes will come with the addition of a new sponsor. One change will be the sponsor will be on the top of the windshield of every car instead of the driver’s name. The drivers name will be on the rear window instead. Current drivers like Kurt Busch that were sponsored by Monster Energy will still have that sponsorship.

Like every season, this one will begin with much hope and promise. Brian France said, “We’re — this is where people come to have fun, right?  Our speedways and watch us on television, what better brand to have associated with us than the people who understand that.

2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Schedule

Date Location Network Race Start Radio
2/18 The Unlimited at

Daytona International Speedway

FS1

 

8 p.m.

 

MRN / SiriusXM
2/19 DAYTONA 500 Qualifying at

Daytona International Speedway

FOX

 

3 p.m.

 

MRN / SiriusXM
2/23 Can-Am Duel at

Daytona International Speedway

FS1 7 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM
2/26 DAYTONA 500 at

Daytona International Speedway

FOX 2 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM
3/5 Atlanta Motor Speedway FOX 2:30 p.m. PRN / SiriusXM
3/12 Las Vegas Motor Speedway FOX 3:30 p.m. PRN / SiriusXM
3/19 Phoenix International Raceway FOX 3:30 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM
3/26 Auto Club Speedway FOX 3:30 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM
4/2 Martinsville Speedway FS1 2 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM
4/9 Texas Motor Speedway FOX 1:30 p.m. PRN / SiriusXM
4/23 Bristol Motor Speedway FOX 2 p.m. PRN / SiriusXM
4/30 Richmond International Raceway FOX 2 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM
5/7 Talladega Superspeedway FOX 2 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM
5/13 Kansas Speedway FS1 7:30 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM
5/20 NASCAR All-Star Race at

Charlotte Motor Speedway

FS1 6 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM
5/28 Coca-Cola 600 at

Charlotte Motor Speedway

FOX 6 p.m. PRN / SiriusXM
6/4 Dover International Speedway FS1 1 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM
6/11 Pocono Raceway FS1 3 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM
6/18 Michigan International Speedway FS1 3 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM
6/25 Sonoma Raceway FS1 3 p.m. PRN / SiriusXM
7/1 Coke Zero 400 Powered by Coca-Cola at Daytona International Speedway NBC 7:30 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM
7/8 Kentucky Speedway NBCSN 7:30 p.m. PRN / SiriusXM
7/16 New Hampshire Motor Speedway NBCSN 3 p.m. PRN / SiriusXM
7/23 Indianapolis Motor Speedway NBC 3 p.m. IMS / SiriusXM
7/30 Pocono Raceway NBCSN 3 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM
8/6 Watkins Glen International NBCSN 3 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM
8/13 Michigan International Speedway NBCSN 3 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM
8/19 Bristol Motor Speedway NBC 7:30 p.m. PRN / SiriusXM
9/3 Darlington Raceway NBCSN 6 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM
9/9 Richmond International Raceway NBCSN 7:30 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM
9/17 Chicagoland Speedway NBCSN 3 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM
9/24 New Hampshire Motor Speedway NBCSN 2 p.m. PRN / SiriusXM
10/1 Dover International Speedway NBCSN 2 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM
10/7 Charlotte Motor Speedway NBCSN 7 p.m. PRN / SiriusXM
10/15 Talladega Superspeedway NBC 2 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM
10/22 Kansas Speedway NBCSN 3 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM
10/29 Martinsville Speedway NBCSN 1 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM
11/5 Texas Motor Speedway NBC 2 p.m. PRN / SiriusXM
11/12 Phoenix International Raceway NBC 2:30 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM
11/19 Homestead-Miami Speedway NBC 2:30 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM

Check out the schedule and make your travel plans to attend a race or two. Don’t forget to check out to see if there is a companion event for the XFINITY or Camping World Truck Series. Hope to see you there.

Brian Berg Jr. is a NASCAR writer for BehindPitRow.com.

Follow him on Twitter @brian_jr1 during the race and throughout the week for more NASCAR news and commentary.

Feature Photo Credit: 322808 Chris Trotman/Getty Images

2017 NASCAR XFINITY Series Schedule

The 2017 NASCAR XFINITY Series season is starting. 2016 was the inaugural season of the extension of the Chase format to this series. Daniel Suarez won the Championship. He had three wins and 27 top ten finishes in a 33 race season. He had a super season although on too many occasions he was upstaged by the reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion Kyle Busch.

Kyle Busch again dominated this Series with 10 wins and 14 top ten finishes in his 17 starts. This has got to stop so that drivers like Suarez can build their fan base and legacy to this sport.

Next year Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers with five or more years of experience will be limited to ten starts in this Series.

The updated guidelines will elevate the stature of our future stars, while also providing them the opportunity to compete against the best in professional motorsports,” said Jim Cassidy, NASCAR senior vice president of racing operations. “These updated guidelines are the result of a collaborative effort involving the entire industry, and will ultimately better showcase the emerging stars of NASCAR.

2017 NASCAR XFINITY Series Schedule

Date Location Network Race Start Radio
2/25 Daytona International Speedway FS1 3:30 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM
3/4 Atlanta Motor Speedway FS1 1:30 p.m. PRN / SiriusXM
3/11 Las Vegas Motor Speedway FS1 4 p.m. PRN / SiriusXM
3/18 Phoenix International Raceway FOX 4 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM
3/25 Auto Club Speedway FS1 4 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM
4/8 Texas Motor Speedway FOX 1:30 p.m. PRN / SiriusXM
4/22 Bristol Motor Speedway FS1 12:30 p.m. PRN / SiriusXM
4/29 Richmond International Raceway FS1 12:30 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM
5/6 Talladega Superspeedway FOX 1 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM
5/27 Charlotte Motor Speedway FS1 1 p.m. PRN / SiriusXM
6/3 Dover International Speedway FS1 1 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM
6/10 Pocono Raceway FOX 1 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM
6/17 Michigan International Speedway FS1 1:30 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM
6/24 Iowa Speedway FS1 8:30 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM
6/30 Daytona International Speedway NBCSN 7:30 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM
7/7 Kentucky Speedway NBCSN 8 p.m. PRN / SiriusXM
7/15 New Hampshire Motor Speedway NBCSN 4 p.m. PRN / SiriusXM
7/22 Indianapolis Motor Speedway NBCSN 3:30 p.m. IMS / SiriusXM
7/29 Iowa Speedway NBC 3:30 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM
8/5 Watkins Glen International NBCSN 2 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM
8/12 Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course NBCSN 3:30 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM
8/18 Bristol Motor Speedway NBCSN 7:30 p.m. PRN / SiriusXM
8/27 Road America NBC 3 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM
9/2 Darlington Raceway NBCSN 3:30 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM
9/8 Richmond International Raceway NBCSN 7:30 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM
9/16 Chicagoland Speedway NBCSN 3:30 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM
9/23 Kentucky Speedway NBCSN 8 p.m. PRN / SiriusXM
9/30 Dover International Speedway NBCSN 3 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM
10/6 Charlotte Motor Speedway NBCSN 8 p.m. PRN / SiriusXM
10/21 Kansas Speedway NBC 3 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM
11/4 Texas Motor Speedway NBCSN 8:30 p.m. PRN / SiriusXM
11/11 Phoenix International Raceway NBC 3:30 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM
11/18 Homestead-Miami Speedway NBCSN 3:30 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM

Check out the schedule and make your travel plans to attend a race or two. Hope to see you there.

Brian Berg Jr. is a NASCAR writer for BehindPitRow.com.

Follow him on Twitter @brian_jr1 during the race and throughout the week for more NASCAR news and commentary.

Feature Photo Credit: 322780 Jerry Markland/Getty Images

 

2017 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Schedule

The 2017 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season is upon us. Last year was the inaugural season of the extension of the Chase format to this Series. William Byron dominated the season with seven wins and 16 top ten finishes in 23 races. His very untimely blown engine in the second to last race at Phoenix eliminated him from contention. He won the last race a Homestead to show he should have won the Championship.

It feels awesome. It’s just – it’s incredible.” William Byron added, “I mean this team has worked so hard all year. We just had an unfortunate situation last week that we couldn’t control, but, man, they brought a good truck. Qualified on the pole. These guys just are awesome.

Johnny Sauter won at Daytona then used that win to catapult himself to his first Championship in NASCAR. He had three wins and 19 top ten finishes in the 23 races. This year the competition is expected to be even better now that they have some experience with this format.

This championship means a lot to me, but it means a lot to my family,” the newly crowned champion continued.” Sauter added, “I just can’t thank these guys enough.  They executed like they needed to and I can’t thank the Gallagher family enough for giving me this opportunity. It was a leap of faith to come here over the off season.  Being in a Chevrolet was very important to me and this is just awesome.

2017 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Schedule

Date Location Network Race Start Radio
2/24 Daytona International Speedway FS1 7:30 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM
3/4 Atlanta Motor Speedway FS1 4:30 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM
4/1 Martinsville Speedway FS1 2:30 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM
5/12 Kansas Speedway FS1 8:30 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM
5/19 Charlotte Motor Speedway FS1 8:30 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM
6/2 Dover International Speedway FS1 5:30 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM
6/9 Texas Motor Speedway FS1 8 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM
6/17 Gateway Motorsports Park FS1 8:30 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM
6/23 Iowa Speedway FS1 8:30 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM
7/6 Kentucky Speedway FS1 7:30 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM
7/19 Eldora Speedway FS1 9 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM
7/29 Pocono Raceway FS1 1 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM
8/12 Michigan International Speedway FS1 1 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM
8/16 Bristol Motor Speedway FS1 8:30 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM
9/3 Canadian Tire Motorsport Park FS1 2:30 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM
9/15 Chicagoland Speedway FS1 8:30 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM
9/23 New Hampshire Motor Speedway FS1 1 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM
9/30 Las Vegas Motor Speedway FS1 8:30 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM
10/14 Talladega Superspeedway FOX 1 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM
10/28 Martinsville Speedway FS1 1:30 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM
11/3 Texas Motor Speedway FS1 8:30 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM
11/10 Phoenix International Raceway FS1 8:30 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM
11/17 Homestead-Miami Speedway FS1 8 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM

Next year Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers with five or more years of experience will be limited to seven starts in this Series.

The updated guidelines will elevate the stature of our future stars, while also providing them the opportunity to compete against the best in professional motorsports,” said Jim Cassidy, NASCAR senior vice president of racing operations. “These updated guidelines are the result of a collaborative effort involving the entire industry, and will ultimately better showcase the emerging stars of NASCAR.

Check out the schedule and make your travel plans to attend a race or two. Hope to see you there.

Brian Berg Jr. is a NASCAR writer for BehindPitRow.com.

Follow him on Twitter @brian_jr1 during the race and throughout the week for more NASCAR news and commentary.

Feature Photo Credit: 322755 Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images

 

Win and Advance in the Chase, Win Again and Eliminate a Chaser

Martin Truex Jr. was caught a lap down at Chicagoland Speedway. He was fast, so fast that he all but unlapped himself. Fast forward to this past week at Dover International Speedway and Martin Truex Jr. was real fast. He was so fast that he almost lapped the field. When he won there were only six cars on the lead lap. Truex has now won two of the three races in the Round of 16 of the NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup.

Wining one race automatically advances you to the next round of the Chase. Winning another race may keep another competitor who may have needed to win from advancing. In this case it did not since Kyle Busch already had enough points to advance. It does get one to question what could be done with multiple wins in the Chase. Can there be a way to encourage and reward it.

Here is an idea. What if drivers win multiple races in the Chase and an extra driver is eliminated from the Chase in each round of a multiple win. For instance this round Martin Truex Jr. won two races in the first round. The next round of the Chase is the Round of 12. Since he won an additional race then the next round could have only 11 drivers; 16 drivers minus the scheduled 4 plus an extra one.

Kevin Harvick won the second race of the Round of 16. If he should win another race in the Round of 12 then another driver would be eliminated for the Round of 8 such that there would only be 7 drivers in that round.

Extrapolating out if Kevin Harvick and Martin Truex Jr. should happen to win three races in the Round of 12 then there would only be 5 drivers in the Round of 8.  If this pattern continues then Harvick and Truex would be left to fight it out at Homestead Miami Speedway.

If Truex were to win all three races of the round of 8 then he would win the Championship prior to Homestead Miami Speedway.

Think about it. Right now you win to guarantee to advance in a round but you race to maintain your position in the standings to advance. This format throws some Offense into the game. Win and advance. Win again to eliminate your competition. This just ramps it up to a whole new level.

Brian Berg Jr. is a NASCAR writer for BehindPitRow.com.

Feature Photo Credit: 321972 Sarah Crabill/NASCAR via Getty Images

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