NASCAR announced a few competition changes Thursday one day prior to the first Sprint Cup cars hitting the track at Daytona International Speedway. Some of the changes are due to the Charter system enacted this past week while others seem to be an effort to erase any gray areas and one change is specific to Daytona and its unusual qualifying procedures.
First the points: Because of the new Charter system, the field for the NASCAR Sprint Cup series has been dropped from 43 cars to 40, 36 of those with Charters and guaranteed starting spots. The championship points have been changed to reflect this new field number. The winner of a Sprint Cup race will now be awarded 40 points instead of 43 and the number will drop down until the last place participant (the 40th place finisher) who will get a single point. The points will also reflect the fields in the Xfinity and Truck Series, 40 cars and 32 trucks. The same bonus points, for winning a race, leading a lap and leading the most laps, will remain as they were in 2015.
For the Daytona 500, which has a qualifying procedure unique to any other race, the Charter teams will be assigned a starting position based on either their qualifying effort this Sunday or their result in one of the two Can-Am Duel races next Thursday. Sunday’s qualifying will lock in only the pole position and the second place starter. All other starting spots will be determined via the Can-Am Duel races. NASCAR will split up the Charter and Open teams evenly among both races.