Report: NASCAR to announce points and race format changes Monday – Yahoo Sports

Say goodbye to the traditional Cup Series race format.

According to ESPN, NASCAR is making changes to the way races are run and the way points are awarded in the Cup Series in 2017. The announcement of the changes is reportedly set for 6 p.m. ET.

From the report:

NASCAR is expected to divide races into segments, and drivers would get points depending on their running order at the end of each segment, according to industry sources. The news conference Monday is expected to detail the new points distribution system with the goal that drivers will have to compete for spots early in the event rather than having the option to bide their time until the end of the race before making a move.

Many NASCAR fans — at least many of the outspoken ones you’ll find in comment sections like you see below this post — consider themselves traditionalists. So it’ll be fascinating to see how longtime NASCAR fans take the details of these changes.

NASCAR overhauled its points system before the 2011 season, scrapping a system that had irregular points intervals between positions. The current system awards one point for last place (40th), two for next-to-last (39th) and so on. The winner receives a base of 40 points plus three additional points for winning.

A driver who leads a lap gets a point and the driver who leads the most laps gets a point.

The most recent points changes came before the Chase was changed in 2014. The current Chase format includes every driver who wins a race in the first 26 races plus the best performing drivers to reach a Chase field of 16. A driver is given three points at the beginning of the Chase is

It’s no secret that NASCAR wants to court a younger fanbase as the population that watches NASCAR is one of the oldest in sports. And it figures that a driving force of the segment idea is to help break races up to make them more palatable to young fans.

Points awarded in segments will undoubtedly lead to a more complicated box score after races. And it’s fair to assume that, barring any provisions, a driver who crashes on lap 1 and returns to the race late could earn fewer points than a driver who runs near the front of the field for a segment or two and then crashes and finishes behind the driver who crashed on lap 1.

Is that a concept that’s appealing for a new fan to figure out?

We’ll find out the specifics soon enough.

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Nick Bromberg is the editor of From The Marbles on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at nickbromberg@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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