During the Charlotte Motor Speedway NASCAR Media Tour in Uptown Charlotte, N.C., on Tuesday, NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer Steve O’Donnell detailed a new format for the Xfinity Dash 4 Cash bonus program for the NASCAR Xfinity Series. The four races in the 2016 installment of the program will be the April 16 race at Bristol (Ten.) Motor Speedway, the April 23 race at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway, the May 14 race at Dover (Del.) International Speedway and the July 23 race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
“Thense innovations contain the elements of racing that our fans want the most,” O’Donnell said of changes that also include a Chase format for the Xfinity and Camping World Truck series and a caution clock for the Truck Series. “The enhancements put a premium on in-race strategy, and will create an unprecedented level of excitement as teams make tactical decisions that could impact their spot in the Chase.”
As before, only Xfinity Series championship-eligible drivers will be eligible for the bonus awarded at each of the four races, but the way of determining which four drivers will compete for the bonus in each race will change for 2016. This time around, each of the Dash 4 Cash events will be formatted as two heat races and a main. Qualifying will determine the combined 40-car field for the two heat races. Cars in odd positions from qualifying (pole, third, fifth, etc.) will compete in the first heat race, while cars qualifying in even positions (second, fourth, etc.) will determine the line-up for the second heat race. The two highest-finishing Xfinity championship-eligible drivers in each heat will be the four drivers for the Dash 4 Cash bonus for that given race. In the main, the highest finisher from among those four drivers win the $100,000 bonus for that race. If a driver wins at least two of the four available Chase bonuses, those wins will equate to a regular race win, guaranteeing him/her a Chase spot.
Also, the two heats will set the starting grid for the main. The inside line, or odd starting spots, will be filled based on the finishing order from the first heat, with the second heat determining the outside-line portion of the main starting grid.
Only the four Dash 4 Cash races will adopt the new format. All other races on the schedule remained unchanged.
Previously, the Dash 4 Cash-eligible drivers were determined by the previous program race, with the bonus winner and other three highest-finishing series championship-eligible drivers in one Dash 4 Cash race being the four drivers to compete for the bonus awarded in the next race. For the first race of the program in a given year, the four drivers racing for the bonus was determined by predetermined race.