NASCAR adds fourth stage to Coca-Cola 600

(Getty Images for NASCAR)

NASCAR announced Monday that a 4th Stage will be added to this year’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 28th.

NASCAR introduced the concept of Stage races this season, dividing races into segments, Stages with a winner declared and points awarded to the top 10 finisher in each Stage in addition to the overall race winner.

“The stage racing format is delivering more dramatic moments over an entire race, fueling tremendous racing action this season,” said Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer. “With a fourth stage added to the Coca-Cola 600, the historic event will have another layer of strategy for teams, and even more excitement within the race for fans.”

The addition of the 4th Stage at Charlotte will make the stages each 100 laps.

“For 58 years, the Coca-Cola 600 has been a crown jewel on the NASCAR circuit because it presents unique challenges that don’t exist in any other race.  The distance is greater.  The test of endurance is greater.  The challenge of adjusting to the track surface from hot to cool puts more pressure on crew chiefs and pit crews,” said Marcus Smith, president and chief operating officer of Speedway Motorsports, Inc.  “It’s only fitting that teams have an opportunity to be rewarded for the extra effort required to win at the 600.  An additional stage win and that extra playoff point in May could be critical for playoff success in the fall.”

NASCAR does not expect stages to be added to any other race, although they will review after the season and make any necessary adjustments.