NASCAR Chase changes don’t meant some-more lead changes

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Maybe a multiple of skill, rage and recklessness of 8 assertive drivers going all-out to allege to a Sprint Cup championship culmination will outcome in a demoniac — or fighting — finish to Sunday’s Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 during Phoenix International Raceway.

But an azcentral sports research of pivotal NASCAR foe statistics suggests a less-dramatic ending. Lead changes late in races have roughly left during PIR given it was reconfigured and repaved in 2011. And opposite a Chase for a Sprint Cup they also are down dramatically notwithstanding NASCAR’s new championship manners designed to jump-start competition.


There have been 26 fewer lead changes in a opening 8 Chase races this year, 180 down from 206 in a same camber final season. This even yet drivers acknowledge NASCAR’s new “elimination” complement has upped their power levels, maybe best exemplified by final Sunday’s fight involving Jeff Gordon, Brad Keselowski and their crews during Texas Motor Speedway.

The lead has altered in a final 10 laps in a 3 many new Chase races, though that’s usually happened once in a past 6 PIR events, when Kevin Harvick zoomed past an out-of-fuel Carl Edwards final November. Three times there’s been no lead change in a final 50 laps. Three times there’s been no restart with 10 or fewer laps to go.

Joey Logano’s confidant overtaking attempts on dual late-race restarts saved PIR’s Mar race, won by Harvick, from maybe being a slightest action-packed given a Cup series’ entrance here in 1988.

RELATED: Schedule of events this weekend during PIR

There has been copiousness of movement besides a latter laps. The Chase races have seen a series of accidents or spins boost from 33 to 46. There have been some-more counsel periods, 76 vs. 64, and a altogether series of laps run underneath yellow is adult to 378 vs. 342.

PIR President Bryan Sperber says Sunday’s eventuality “will be really opposite than what we saw in March.” And Rusty Wallace, a 1989 Cup champion and now an ESPN analyst, predicts “all ruin is going to mangle loose” in PIR’s final 10 laps.

The new format cuts 4 drivers from a strange Chase-qualified margin of 16 after each 3 of a 10 races. PIR is a ninth foe in a Chase, and usually 4 of a stream 8 authorised drivers will go to Homestead-Miami Speedway Nov. 16 with a pretension shot, a top finisher there apropos a Cup champion.

NASCAR’s speculation was drivers dynamic to allege to a subsequent turn would take large chances to win, or perhaps, trigger multi-car crashes. But a initial “elimination” event, during Dover, Del., saw Jeff Gordon lead a final 71 laps with no cautions in a final 140 laps.

MORE: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series winners during PIR

“The foe substantially didn’t live adult to a pre-race billing,” lane President Denis McGlynn told a Philadelphia Daily News.

The second rejecting race, during Talladega, Ala., won by Keselowski, isn’t a current comparison to Dover or PIR. Restricted-horsepower engine manners emanate container racing and, typically, a lot of flitting and accidents.

Reasons for a altogether dump in lead changes during PIR embody hard-compound tires, a newer lane aspect and a aerodynamic waste of violent “dirty air” on discerning cars held in traffic. All minister to creation flitting some-more difficult. As a result, a chess compare among organisation chiefs on when to array has increasing in significance since it can be easier to benefit positions with quick, well-timed stops.

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