Race Weekend Central

Fire on Fridays: Why Not Start All National Series Playoffs at Once?

The Truck Series is two races into their postseason, the Cup Series is two weeks away from theirs and the Xfinity Series is three.

Next week in Las Vegas, the Cup Series will begin their playoffs, the Trucks will cut their field from eight to six and the Xfinity Series will still have one more race to go.

Why all the unnecessary confusion?

A few years back, all three national series began their postseason at the same track. It allowed for more attention to be placed on the lower series, paired with the Cup guys and gals and an easier marketing ploy for the playoff opener.

Instead of “only one series is beginning their playoffs this weekend. One already started a month ago and one starts in three weeks,” it was “come out and see the beginning of all postseasons for all NASCAR national series.”

There’s no need to start one playoffs at Bristol, one at Las Vegas and one at Richmond. Especially given the fact that a mere few years earlier, each began on the same weekend.

The counter argument that starting each one on its own weekend at its own track gives each series their own identity is a valid one, but the attention paid to the opening race of the Cup Series playoffs will far outweigh the others.

So what if NGOTS and NXS are overshadowed by Cup? At least people actually will know the playoffs began in those series, as opposed to the countless fans I’ve conversed with in the past few weeks that were unaware when any of them would begin.

The infrastructure is there, the race tracks are there, the appetite is there.

It’s a glorious opportunity to come together to begin the final stretch of the season. I’m just not sure why it’s not being taken advantage of.

About the author

Davey is in his fifth season with Frontstretch and currently serves as a multimedia editor and reporter. He authors the "NASCAR Mailbox" column, spearheads the site's video content and hosts the Frontstretch Podcast weekly. He's covered the K&N Pro Series and ARCA extensively for NASCAR.com and currently serves as an associate producer for SiriusXM NASCAR Radio and production assistant for NBC Sports Washington. Follow him on Twitter @DaveyCenter.

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That’s assuming the the ‘playoff’ gets fans enthused. With the record so far on attendance and ratings, I doubt that it would make a whole lot of difference. I’d say the wild indifference that fans in general have shown for the contrived format is not going to change.


I agree 100% with the article. I find it extremely confusing to keep track of where the different divisions are in their playoffs. No reason not to begin them all at the same time.

Bill B

Why not just get rid of the stupid f-in playoffs altogether?


I wholeheartedly second that motion!


Since NASCAR loves gimmicks, I have one! How about in addition to all 3 series starting the “Playoffs” at the same time, why don’t we eliminate all the losers no longer running for the “Championship” in all 3 series as well?

Stay with me here…

We take from all 3 series the teams left running for the “Championship”, and we run them on the same 10 tracks at the same time (like IMSA does with different classes on the same course). So you have 8+12+16 = 36 cars running each of the last 10 races.

This would add a whole new twist and level of interest as the top drivers from the 3 series race among themselves and the top drivers in the other divisions.

I suppose the losing teams could race somewhere as a means of additional testing and driver try-outs (for those looking for a ride the following season).


I can’t wait for a truck to win the last event when the top contenders are taken out in a demo-derby style wreck when Baby Busch overdrives his car AGAIN.


How about a 36 race playoff starting in February?

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