NASCAR Chase round ‘bye’ for regular season champ?

Brad Keselowski
Brad Keselowski

Could the regular-season champion earn a bye to the second round of the Chase?

Former series champ Brad Keselowski says drivers have discussed ways to reward the points leader more after the 26-race regular season.

A bye is one such idea. Keselowski, who has two victories this season, admits an early win can give a driver a new perspective on the regular season.

"I think clearly the sport is lacking some motivation once you've won a race," Keselowski told reporters Monday at Team Penske's shop.

"I don't think there's any question that most of the competitors in the sport feel like that is not advantageous for a product we're trying to put on and have floated some ideas to level that back out that maybe some people will like and maybe some won't. We'll have to see."

It also seems to have impacted fans. In a conference call with industry analysts last month, an International Speedway Corp., executive said the focus on the Chase may be playing a role in fans purchasing tickets for those events instead of races earlier in the season. What would be a good reward for the regular-season champion?

"I think a bye is a good word for it," Keselowski said. "As we're trying to emulate other sports and major playoffs, I think it makes sense as it does for them." NBC Sports

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