NASCAR

NASCAR DFS: Does NASCAR’s New Race Format Impact Strategy?

NASCAR announced a major overhaul to both its points system as well as to the race format for the 2017 season. The goal is muli-purposed: to encourage racing throughout the race, to reward both consistency and winning, to provide a cushion for the season’s best drivers in the playoffs so that one bad race doesn’t eliminate them, and to give TV viewers pre-planned commercial breaks to get a tasty beverage. But the real question is — how do these changes affect our NASCAR DFS lineup building process? To figure that out, we first need to review the changes.

NASCAR RACE & POINT FORMAT CHANGES

NASCAR has decided to make races three segments. The first two segments will be of equal length to each other, and in total comprise about one-half of the total race distance.1 The final segment will make up the remainder of the distance. Any race that reaches the conclusion of the second segment will be considered official should inclement weather or other circumstances force the race to end early. More importantly, the top 10 finishers in each of the first two segments will receive points toward their regular season points total — or postseason points total for races that occur in NASCAR’s playoffs — with first place netting 10 points down to 1 point for a 10th place segment finish (from here on I will call these points “race points”). Additionally, a bonus point will be awarded as a “playoff point” for the winner of each of the first two segments, which stay with the driver through each round of the playoffs. From there, it’s all about the race win, with the winner of the race gaining 40 race points, second through 35th place will get 35 down to 2 race points, and everyone finishing worse than 35th will get 1 race point. The race winner will also earn 5 playoff points. Additional playoff points are awarded to the top-10 drivers at the end of the regular season on a 15-10-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 scale. Qualifying for the playoffs remains the same, as does advancement through the playoffs, with the only caveat that the playoff points carry through to each round, rather than just the first round. Also note, NASCAR will no longer use “The Chase” moniker, but instead will simply call the final 10 races the playoffs. So how do these changes impact the NASCAR DFS player?

NASCAR DFS Implications
  1. This will be adjusted per-race to avoid a segment ending near the end of a fuel run so that it doesn’t become a fuel-mileage segment.  (back)

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