When the new NASCAR Chase format was announced just about everyone thought wow, win and you’re in. Looking at the history of NASCAR, rarely have there been more than 15 different race winners in a season so it only made sense that if you win a race you’re in the Chase.
Now we are five races into the season and we have five different winners. Some teams who have won have already started talking about using the rest of the races as test sessions for the actual playoffs. If this occurs we might surely have even more winners.
This is the best scenario for NASCAR fans. Who can argue about more winners? The other thing is if teams are using races as test sessions then those teams may not actually be racing. When we get near 15 different race winners then points and race wins will become important for those teams that already have won a race.
We might just see the last five races of the season become a second season as those teams who have already won a race realize they might not make it in the Chase even though they won a race. They need another win or at the very least need to be higher in points. Suddenly it becomes go time for those who are simply testing.
Regardless of what happens it is apparent that the changes that NASCAR made to qualifying for the Chase for the Sprint Cup have made a bigger difference to the regular season then they did to the Chase itself. This is more evident in the fact that we are talking about winning, not points. It was just as boring writing about points as it is reading about points.
Feature Photo Credit: HHP/Rusty Jarrett for Chevrolet