As a NASCAR web blogger and long time NASCAR fan, I canít help but read the numerous articles on how the current Chase is still almost as boring as in pre-Chase years. You may disagree with me, but please hear me out. Many real infield NASCAR fans that I have talked to over the years at tracks do agree. The reason you went to the Chase format, I assume, was to allow for more competition to continue longer, a yearly Champion to be crowned at the latest point in the season, and allow for a higher climax leading to the eventual winner. Keeping the TV, radio audience and sponsors more enthusiastic in NASCAR racing longer during its season probably didnít hurt either. The racing season overlaps numerous other competitive sports. The Chase idea is was a noble effort, but I feel, it needs a bit of help.
I know NASCAR has and will continue to adjust the Chase format, I have read and heard you outline some ideas on popular racing websites. Adding a few drivers or using different tracks for the Chase wonít fix your problem. Itís really as simple as looking at all the other sports in the US and using the same formulas. All their Championships come down to a single game or a single event, one effort to win it all. Thatís what will make the Ďnewí NASCAR Championship the talk of sports. A ĎSuper Raceí if you will,(Just like the Piston Cup race-off in the movie Cars !!)
Hereís my suggestions to get there (with options)
1. Increase the number of drivers qualifying by 2 to 14.(based on yearly points, but, more on this later)
2. Keep the Chase determination races (Race-offs) to the last 10 on the schedule (you can change the tracks if you want)
3. Eliminate the 1 lowest driver every week
4. At the end of the 10 weeks you will have 5 drivers left. No more point counting from here on.
End the season for everyone else now !!
5. Take a week (or two) to hype the Championship Chase race for these 5 drivers. Big media events, big racing events, TV, radio etc, just like the hype time between the regular NFL season and the Superbowl.
6. Run the winner-take-all race !! NASCAR will have picked a track for this race previously, my choice is Daytona. Thatís where NASCAR started and itís where NASCAR will re-invent itself. It would be a great 1st Championship Race track. Having the sporting world focus on a single race to determine the Champion is the way NASCAR should be.
7. All eyes will be NASCARís Super Championship Race !!