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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IndyCar teams with NASCAR on IMS road course doubleheader in 2021

IndyCar NASCAR doubleheader 2021
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The NTT IndyCar Series will be sharing Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the NASCAR Cup Series in a race weekend doubleheader for the second consecutive season, but both series will be on the road course in August 2021.

IMS announced Wednesday that IndyCar will hold an Aug. 14, 2021 race on its 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course. It’ll be a day before NASCAR’s premier series runs the same layout for the first time after the Brickyard 400 was contested on the 2.5-mile oval for the first time in 27 years.

This season’s rescheduling of the IndyCar GMR Grand Prix to July 4, 2019 (a day before the Brickyard 400) led to the first NASCAR-IndyCar doubleheader weekend. The Xfinity Series also raced on the IMS road course for the first time July 4 after the IndyCar race ended.

INDYCAR AT IMS THIS WEEKEND: Harvest GP schedule, entry lists

IndyCar will be holding its second race weekend this year at the IMS road course Friday and Saturday with the Harvest GP.

“Our first NASCAR-INDYCAR weekend was a big success last July, with positive feedback from
our loyal fans who watched the races on NBC and from the drivers, teams and participants
involved,” IMS president Douglas Boles said in a statement. “The Xfinity Series’ debut on the IMS road course provided exactly the kind of thrilling action from the green to checkered flags that we anticipated, so we know the teams and drivers of the Cup Series will put on a great show as they turn left and right for the first time at IMS.

“We can’t wait to welcome back fans to see NASCAR and INDYCAR together during this
exciting weekend as we add another memorable chapter in the long, storied history of the
Indianapolis Motor Speedway.”

It also will mark the first NASCAR Cup-IndyCar doubleheader with a crowd as fans weren’t permitted at IMS in July because of the novel coronvavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Over the course of Wednesday, NASCAR is releasing its 36-race slate for next season. IndyCar has yet to release its full 2021 schedule.