TALLADEGA, AL – Increasing the sense of urgency and emphasizing aggressive racing and strategy, NASCAR, in collaboration with industry stakeholders, announced today an enhanced competition format that will be implemented in all three of its national series – the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, the NASCAR XFINITY Series and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.

The race format will deliver more dramatic moments over the course of an entire race and season, with playoff point incentives on the line throughout. All three NASCAR divisions compete at NASCAR’s Most Competitive track – Talladega Superspeedway - and the new changes will be implemented in the Sparks Energy 300 NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS) and GEICO 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) on May 6-7.

The enhanced format consists of the following:

  • 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 9 points, and so on.
  • The race winner following the final stage will now receive 40 points, second-place will receive 35, third-place 34, fourth-place 33, and so on.

"All of us here at Talladega Superspeedway are extremely excited about the competition changes announced by NASCAR," said Grant Lynch, Chairman of Talladega Superspeedway. "Every heart-pounding lap here – with three and four-wide racing at 200 mph – is going to mean something for every driver. We look forward to hosting our races this May and October with these changes, as they will provide even more winning moments for multiple drivers in these segments. The format will ultimately tie the season together from the start of the Daytona 500 all the way to the Championship at Homestead with better racing." 

NASCAR also announced a playoff bonus structure that will see the regular season points leader honored as the regular season champion, earning 15 playoff points that will be added to the driver’s playoff reset of 2,000. In addition, the top-10 drivers in points leading into the playoffs will receive playoff points, with second place receiving 10 playoff points, third place will earn 8 points, fourth place will receive 7 points, and so on. All playoff points will carry through to the end of the Round of 8. Talladega’s Alabama 500 MENCS event, set for Oct. 15, will be the second race in the Round of 12.

“These are enhancements that the NASCAR fan has long sought, and the entire industry has worked hard to develop a better racing format for our fans,” said Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer. “This format puts a premium on every victory and every in-race position over the course of the season. Each point can eventually result in winning or losing a championship.”

Advance-priced ticket options for Talladega’s action-packed May weekend are available for a limited time and include: $10 off regular pricing for the GEICO 500 and $5 off regular pricing for the Sparks Energy 300. Two-day ticket packages for both Saturday and Sunday start at only $50.

The Talladega weekend kicks off Friday, May 5, with a full slate of on-track activity which includes sessions for the Sparks Energy 300 and GEICO 500, plus practice, qualifying and the drop of the green flag of the General Tire 200 for the ARCA Racing Series Presented by Menards. The General Tire 200 is set for a 5 p.m. CDT start. Friday night the track will host the “Big One on the Blvd” parade and fan competitions, featuring an array of NASCAR drivers and loads of hysterical fun.

Saturday’s activities feature NXS and MENCS qualifying, along with the start of the Sparks Energy 300 at 12 Noon CDT. Later that evening, fans who purchase a GEICO 500 ticket will get free admission to the traditional Saturday Night Infield Concert (featured headliner to be announced soon). Sunday, the GEICO 500 is set for a 1 p.m. CDT start.

For more ticket information on all three days of activities call 1-877-Go2-DEGA.

About NASCAR

The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, Inc. (NASCAR) is the sanctioning body for the No. 1 form of motorsports in the United States. NASCAR consists of three national series (Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series™, NASCAR XFINITY Series™, and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series™), three regional series, one local grassroots series and three international series. The International Motor Sports Association™ (IMSA®) governs the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship™, the premier U.S. sports car series. Based in Daytona Beach, Fla., with offices in eight cities across North America, NASCAR sanctions more than 1,200 races in more than 30 U.S. states, Canada, Mexico and Europe. For more information visit http://www.NASCAR.com and http://www.IMSA.com, and follow NASCAR on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat (‘NASCAR’).