NASCAR chairman Brian France believes the new elimination-style playoffs have been a success in their debut season, and the sanctioning body has no issue if Ryan Newman wins the championship without a victory this year.
France announced the revamped Chase for the Sprint Cup championship in January and promised it would place a greater importance on winning. Teams could clinch a berth in the 16-driver field with a victory during the regular season, and they could advance through the three rounds of the Chase by winning in each segment.
But Newman has defied the model by using consistent finishes to earn a spot in Sunday's final four. He'll race Kevin Harvick, Joey Logano and Denny Hamlin, who have a combined 10 victories this season.