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NASCAR overhauls Chase format with eliminations to create winner-take-all season finale

  • 94cafe843d0368044a0f6a706700bd23.jpg

    Driver Kyle Busch, center, answers a question as teammates Denny Hamlin, right, and Matt Kenseth, left, listen during a news conference at the NASCAR Sprint Cup auto racing Media Tour in Charlotte, N.C., Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014. (AP Photo) (The Associated Press)

  • 793742d33a225b044a0f6a7067001e24.jpg

    Tony Stewart talks about his relationship with former driver Dale Jarrett during the NASCAR Hall of Fame induction ceremony, Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Bob Leverone) (The Associated Press)

NASCAR has overhauled its championship format to create an elimination, winner-take-all system designed to reward "the most battle-tested" driver at the end of the season.

The Chase for the Sprint Cup championship will now be a 16-driver field with a premium placed on winning.

NASCAR will cut four drivers from the field after every three races in the 10-race Chase, leaving four eligible drivers headed into the season finale. The first of those four to cross the finish line will be crowned champion.

NASCAR Chairman Brian France said Thursday the new format has no math and no bonus points and is "simple as it gets."