Is the New NASCAR Format Detrimental to the Quality of Racing?

Photo Credit: Noel Lanier/

At the start of the 2017 race season NASCAR instituted new rules and race formats for the three national series.  The change that seems to standout most among fans on several social media platforms is the segment format.

The majority of complaints from fans in the past few years seem to be that the drivers weren’t racing hard for the entire race and the middle part of the race was boring. The segment format should help eliminate that issue. Especially for plate tracks, such as Daytona and Talladega, where for the majority of the race we see drivers hangout at the back to avoid the wrecks and try to make it to the end.

The new segment format awards points for the top-ten finishers in each segment. So, drivers who want to maximize points will want to be up front, which should make for better racing throughout the entire race.

Friday night’s Camping World Truck Series race was the first in NASCAR’s top three series to run under the new format.  The race finished with six cautions for 29 laps. Throughout the race and after, the biggest complaint on several social media forums seemed to be the race was a wreck fest and the segment format was the cause. The issue with this argument is it simply isn’t true. The following is a list of race results, including cautions and laps from every Camping World Truck Series race at Daytona International Speedway since 2000.

Year Cautions  Laps
2000      6   25
2001      8   29
2002      6   21
2003      7   30
2004      7   42
2005      7   30
2006      5   17
2007      7   34
2008      6   25
2009      6   29
2010      7   33
2011      6   24
2012      9   37
2013      6   20
2014      4   19
2015      6   28
2016      7   29
2017      6   29


From this information one can see that Friday night’s race was far from a wreck fest, at least in comparison to previous events. There were only two races with fewer cautions since 2000.

Were there some big crashes Friday night? Certainly, but far from the wreck fest as some are claiming it to be. The new format certainly made the drivers get up on the wheel and drive each lap of the race and not hang back until the end. If given a chance the new format changes will make for some exciting racing this season for all three series.

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  1. I think it made for great racing. It appeared that the fans in attendance certainly liked it. First 500 in years that I found the entire race interesting. Hats off to NASCAR. I’ve had this “love/hate” thing going with NASCAR for a long time. The “love” came out this weekend!

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