I am so excited to get down to Daytona for the first race of the new NASCAR season! It's almost my unofficial EARLY welcome to spring. This is about the time of year I start checking out the websites for the changes in cars and drivers for the year, try to get up to speed on all the changes that always take place. What I found today though is not a change I expected.

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NASCAR announced on Friday that they are discussing possible changes to the Chase for the Sprint Cup format. Here is what I understand the new format to be:

There will be 16 drivers making the Chase now with an emphasis on wins. With this format any driver who wins a race in the first 26 races would more than likely qualify for the Chase. If more than 16 drivers win a race it would then be the drivers with a win and the most points who make the Chase. In the event that less than 16 drivers win a race in the first 26 races, those who have won will be in and any remaining spots would be filled by highest points of the remaining drivers.

Complicated yet?

OK, now the Chase itself will be very different as well. To make it more like the typical tournaments or playoff structures in other sports, the Chase would now become an elimination tournament. Of the 16 Chase drivers, 4 will be eliminated after the 3rd, 6th, and 9th race. This will then leave 4 drivers in a "winner take all" season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Got it? Good.

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I have to admit at first I was thinking, "OK NASCAR got in a room and said how can we change things up again to insure Jimmie Johnson doesn't run away with another Championship?" That may have even been the case, and it would make it harder for any driver to use the "it's a long season let's keep it steady" strategy that Knaus has become known for, but the more I look at it the more I like it.

Other than 2 or 3 final races in the past ten years, I feel like the final race has not had as much drama as it could have. In this scenario, 4 teams survive to get into the last race as contenders and as far as I can see, they start that race dead even. I think I would very much enjoy a final race , winner take all between say, Jimmie, Junior, Smoke and (your favorite driver here).

What do you think?