NASCAR creates winner-take-all championship format

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. - JANUARY 28: Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowes Chevrolet, speaks with the media during the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour at Charlotte Convention Center on January 28, 2014 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Rainier Ehrhardt/Getty Images)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - NASCAR has overhauled its championship format to create an elimination, winner-take-all system designed to reward "the most battle-tested" driver at the end of the season.

The Chase for the Sprint Cup championship will now be a 16-driver field with a premium placed on winning.

NASCAR will cut four drivers from the field after every three races in the 10-race Chase, leaving four eligible drivers headed into the season finale. The first of those four to cross the finish line will be crowned champion.

NASCAR Chairman Brian France said Thursday the new format has no math and no bonus points and is "simple as it gets."

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