Brian France: No changes to Chase format planned for 2015


After arguably one of the most exciting editions in the 11-year history of the Chase for the Sprint Cup, the last thing NASCAR wants to do is make any changes.

Interviewed on SiriusXM Speedway by hosts Dave Moody and Angie Skinner, NASCAR Chairman/CEO Brian France was asked if he anticipated any tweaks to the Chase format for 2015.

“No, I don’t,” France replied. “We’re obviously pleased with everything.”

However, that doesn’t preclude some tweaks after 2015, France noted.

“There may be some adjustments down the road (but) they’ll be very small,” France said. “Nothing, for ’15, nothing anybody would notice.

“But if we can make an already great thing better we will always look at that. But we are very content that we have the right positioning of elevating the drivers to have moments as I just described, and then also balancing this whole thing in auto racing, which is very difficult to balance, which is how do you balance winning and consistency? And they don’t necessarily always go together.

“And how do you have any kind of a championship run that represents that? I think we’ve done the best job that we think we can do to balance that.”

France appeared on the show for 15 minutes and also addressed:

* How competition levels have been elevated, how Kevin Harvick.

* How 2014 Sprint Cup champ Kevin Harvick told France in Las Vegas last week that he wasn’t a big fan of the new format when it was first announced, but once the 10-race revised and elimination-style format got underway, it caused Harvick’s team to dig deep for talent and effort they didn’t think possible.

* The prospect of having a winless champion. France said it would not have bothered NASCAR if Ryan Newman had won the championship without any wins. Newman ultimately finished second in the Chase to Harvick.

* Possible changes, albeit minor, to the Truck and Xfinity series formats will be looked at during the offseason.

* France said he was as puzzled as anybody on the difficulty of finding sponsors for Bubba Wallace, who was released from Joe Gibbs Racing earlier this week.

To hear the full interview with France, click here.

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Barber IndyCar iRacing results

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Scott McLaughlin led the final six laps Saturday and finished 0.4241 seconds ahead of teammate Will Power to win the Honda IndyCar Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park.

Scott Speed finished third behind the Team Penske drivers. Alex Palou and Simon Pagenaud rounded out the top five.

Click here for the full boxscore from Saturday’s IndyCar iRacing event at Barber Motorsports Park.

WINNER: Scott McLaughlin holds off teammate Will Power

WHAT DRIVERS SAID: Postrace reactions on social media

Other notable finishers:

Colton Herta (seventh), Robert Wickens (eighth), Jimmie Johnson (12th), Graham Rahal (14th), Alexander Rossi (22nd).

Sage Karam led a race-high 24 laps but retired from the 45-lap event because of a crash and finished 27th of 29 drivers.