In an attempt to bring more action and intensity in the early part and middle of races, NASCAR unveiled a new competition format that breaks races into three stages.
Those stages have been set for the NASCAR races held at Texas Motor Speedway. The truck races will have two stages of 40 laps and a final stage of 87 laps; the Xfinity races will have two stages of 45 laps and a final stage of 110 laps; and the Cup series will have two stages of 85 laps and a final stage of 164 laps.
Drivers will be awarded championship points if they are among the top 10 at the end of each stage with the “winner” of the first two stages receiving one playoff point and the actual race winner receiving five. Those points will carry through to the end of the third round of the “playoffs,” when the field dwindles to eight drivers.
Driver and Prosper native Chris Buescher says count him among those on board with the sport rewarding drivers for success in the early part and middle of races.
“I like the fact that it’s going to reward teams and drivers that have a really good day and get caught up in a mess or have a failure with green-white-checkered at the end and get 38th place points,” Buescher said during a conference call Wednesday. “Now, if they ran well enough during the race, they got some bonus points. They accumulated something to show for their effort. I do like that and I think that’s a protection policy for people that have really good days that don’t end well.”
TMS is preparing for the 2017 season by repaving and re-profiling its track. That project is expected to be completed early next month and the NASCAR circuit comes to town for a doubleheader weekend April 8-9.