Brian France: No changes to Chase format planned for 2015

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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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Report: Spencer Pigot out at Ed Carpenter Racing

Joe Skibinski / IndyCar
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Spencer Pigot will not return to Ed Carpenter Racing in 2020, according to a story Thursday by RACER.com.

The 26-year-old Floridian, who won the 2015 Indy Lights championship, is expected to be replaced in the No. 21 Chevrolet by 2019 Indy Lights runner-up Rinus VeeKay.

“I’m appreciative of the opportunity ECR gave me,” Pigot told RACER.com. “I understand the reasons they had to go in a different direction, and wish them all the best.”

In 56 NTT IndyCar Series starts, Pigot has 15 top 10 finishes, with a best finish of second at Iowa in 2018. He finished 14th in the 2019 point standings.

VeeKay, who tested in an Indy car twice for ECR in 2019, has six wins in 18 Indy Lights starts, including a weekend sweep of the final two rounds of the season at Laguna Seca in September.

A representative from ECR told NBC Sports Thursday that the team currently could not comment on any driver rumors as the team currently does not have any drivers under contract for the 2020 season, although it is presumed that owner/driver Carpenter will return to the No. 20 entry for the oval rounds.

NBC Sports will provide updates on the story once more information becomes available.