NASCAR announced on Thursday the lap length of every stage of every race in all three of its national series.
The season-opening Daytona 500 Cup race will consist of stages of 60, 60 and 80 laps (ending on Lap 200). Charlotte Motor Speedway’s Coca-Cola 600 will have stages of 115, 115 and 170 (ending on Lap 400), with October’s Bank of America 500 at Charlotte broken into segments of 90, 90 and 154 (334 total).
In January, NASCAR announced a change in the points system, with each race to be divided into three segments, with the winner and top 10 of the first two segments earning bonus points from 10 to one. The final segment will conclude the race as usual, with the winner receiving 40 points through the 40th-place finisher earning one. Drivers leading the most laps and leading a lap will no longer be awarded bonus points.
The change will not affect how points are awarded to qualify for the playoffs.
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Points have been awarded on a 40-to-1 scale, the highest receiving 40 points, to the lowest 40 drivers. The winning driver gets three bonus points, a driver who leads a lap gets one bonus point and the driver leading the most laps gets an additional bonus point.
Here’s a breakdown of the new rules from NASCAR:
▪ Races will now consist of three stages, with championship implications in each stage.
▪ The top-10 finishers of the first two stages will be awarded additional championship points.
▪ The winner of the first two stages of each race will receive one playoff point, and the race winner will receive five playoff points. Each playoff point will be added to his or her reset total following race No. 26, if that competitor makes the playoffs.
▪ All playoff points will carry through to the end of the third round of the playoffs (Round of 8), with the Championship 4 racing straight-up at Homestead-Miami Speedway for the title.
▪ Championship points following the first two stages will be awarded on a descending scale, with the stage winner receiving 10 points, second receiving nine points, and so on.
▪ The race winner following the final stage will now receive 40 points, second place will receive 35, third place 34, fourt -place 33, and so on.