Brian France: “Auto racing is largely built on consistency. The reality is, certainly, that we changed that.”
At the start of the 2017 season, NASCAR introduced a new form of stock car racing. Stage racing. In addition, a brand new playoff format was introduced, rewarding stage wins.
The combination of those two things have changed the entire direction of the sport. We are nearly half way through the first year of the modern NASCAR playoffs.
How happy is Brian France with the new playoff/stage format?
“Well, we are. Because, the whole idea is… You can’t relax,” Brian France told Trading Paint via a rare appearance on Sirius XM NASCAR Radio.
“Every lap matters, our stages matter. Many years ago, you could cruise around and build up a big point lead. You can’t cruise around at all. You gotta be on it. And I think that’s what people really enjoy.”
“I’ve always believed, that brings out the biggest moments too. It brings out the driver talent. At Homestead, the top 3-4 drivers that are racing for a championship, yeah, you better win the race. Not only that, the top 3 or 4 at Homestead-Miami are almost always the playoff contenders.”
“What does that tell you?,” Brian France asks.
He answers his own question, “That tells you the drivers have to get at the moment. Like any athlete, they gotta do exceptional things. And that’s fun to watch.”
“You know, it’s un-natural in auto racing too. Auto racing is largely built on consistency. Throughout our history and all over the place.”
The reality is certainly that we changed that.
“The reality is, certainly, that we changed that. The consistency certainly matters but boy you gotta compete, every time and every lap.”
“I just think that it brings out the best in the drivers and the teams. I sit in the press room at Homestead. Every year I say, ‘You’re probably going to have to win the race to win the championship.’ ”
“It’s exciting to watch. A great format. It only gets better as the teams and drivers embrace the strategy.”