NASCAR considering additional stages for 2018

Could additional stages be coming in 2018?

NASCAR considering additional stages for 2018
Kevin Harvick, Stewart-Haas Racing Ford, Jamie McMurray, Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet
Green Checkered flag at the end of a segment
Michael McDowell, Leavine Family Racing Chevrolet, Regan Smith, Richard Petty Motorsports Ford, Paul Menard, Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Roush Fenway Racing Ford
JJ Yeley, Danica Patrick, Stewart-Haas Racing Ford
Kevin Harvick, Stewart-Haas Racing Ford, Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
Kevin Harvick, Stewart-Haas Racing Ford, Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota

NASCAR isn’t ruling the possibility out.

After adding a fourth Stage into the Coca-Cola 600 last weekend, NASCAR executive vice president Steve O’Donnell said the sanctioning body will review how additional segments — and points — could effect racing in the future.

"I think it's certainly something that plays into the strategy," O'Donnell said Tuesday morning on SiriusXM Radio. "We think it worked well all night in terms of having different strategies. You got to make certain choices about when you're going to come in, when you're going to stay out come, who's going to gamble. I know we talked fuel mileage, but to me, it's part of the entire race, right, and the strategy. Who has a win and who doesn't, who can afford to maybe take a chance and that all played out on Sunday night.

“You saw Martin (Truex) and Kyle (Busch) battle it out for what they thought was for the win. And then Austin (Dillon) was able to hold on there when Jimmie ran out (of fuel). So a lot of different things played out over that last stage. So, I was proud of the industry for putting that fourth stage in play for this race. It’s something we’ll look at for 2018, but it really worked well for the Coke 600.”

O’Donnell says there has been discussion to add bonus points for NASCAR’s “major races” such as the Daytona 500, the Coca-Cola 600, the Brickyard 400 and the Southern 500.

When RJ Reynolds’ sponsored NASCAR’s Cup series, the Winston Million was introduced for the 1985 season. The program put emphasis on the sport’s major races at that time — the Daytona 500, the Winston 500 (spring Talladega race), the Coca-Cola 600 and the Southern 500. While no additional points were tallied in the process, $1million was offered to any driver that could win three of the four majors.

Although only two drivers accomplished the feat — Bill Elliott (1985) and Jeff Gordon (1997) — the program certainly elevated the interest level in those races and following the potential candidates involved.

"So those are all things we'll take a look at once we’ve see how these stages and this format worked out, and take a look at 2018.”

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