NASCAR America: Should ‘crown jewel’ races become ‘majors’ with more points?

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Under NASCAR’s new stage format for races, the Coca-Cola 600 now stands out as the only race with four stages, a result of being the longest race of the season.

Because of this, the race could potentially award a maximum of 70 points (not counting playoff points) were someone to sweep the first three stages and win the race. In a normal three stage race, the maximum in 60 points.

This has led to the discussion of whether NASCAR could one day have “majors,” or races that award a special amount of points, in the same vein as golf.

Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR’s chief racing development officer, said on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio on Tuesday the sanctioning body is continually having discussions about the possibility of majors with the sport’s “crown jewel” races of the Daytona 500, Brickyard 400, Coca-Cola 600 and Southern 500.

On NASCAR America, analyst Jeff Burton said the idea is “worth exploring.”

“The interesting thing to me would be how exactly would you do it,” Burton. “I think you have to be careful, like paying double points based on how you finish or something like, would take away from the positive impacts of the stages. Now that we have stage racing, it’s easier to do something in regards to creating a majors format.”

Watch the video for the full majors discussion.