As we all well know by now, NASCAR announced a series of format changes to the sport across the board in the way races will be formatted, and how points will be awarded.
Among the changes are the eradication of the Chase – well, sort of. The Chase will still be around, but will now be referred to as the playoffs, much like in any stick and ball sport.
The reasoning behind ditching the term of the Chase was to make it simpler. It’s totally understandable. NASCAR was finding it hard to market the Chase to sponsors because they just didn’t know what it was. When they find out what it is, they have an, “Oh, we get it” moment, but it turns them off just a little bit. The usage of playoffs also appeals to the casual fan who understands what a playoff is from hockey and football.
I’m probably in the minority on this, but I’m going to sincerely miss having ‘The Chase.’
What I loved about the Chase was how it set NASCAR aside from other sports. It allowed NASCAR to have its own identity that didn’t necessarily have to follow that of stick and ball sports. Now, I should re-emphasize that this format isn’t going away, it’s just the name.
Although it was apparently hard for NASCAR to market, I thought the Chase was a nice way to differentiate and try out new marketing ideas.
Over the last few years, NASCAR played around with the idea of having Chase Nations to promote the series more on social media. For example, when it was toyed with in 2014 we had Jimmie Nation, Newman Nation, Dinger Nation and so forth. It wasn’t successful enough to continue, but some fans had fun with it on social media. You won’t see this sort of this sort of thing with just regular playoffs.
NASCAR’s an always moving sport. It never stays stagnant, and terms change. This is just an example of that. This is quintessential NASCAR.
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