By Chris Mascaro
January 30, 2014

Brian France (Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) Brian France called the new format as "simple as it gets." (Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

NASCAR's Chase for the Sprint Cup playoffs will expand from 12 to 16 drivers next season and place an added emphasis on winning races rather than consistently high finishes, NASCAR chairman Brian France announced on Thursday.

The name of the playoff system will be changed to the NASCAR Chase Grid, as the field will be whittled down bracket-style, with four drivers being eliminated after every three races.

That will leave four eligible drivers for the final race, with the first among the final four to cross the finish line winning the title.

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Furthermore, a victory in the first 26 races guarantees a berth in the Chase, which will remain 10 races long. A Chase race victory by any driver still in championship contention automatically gives that driver a spot in the next round.

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