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Drivers on NASCAR's Chase, changes

The Associated Press
Friday, Nov. 19, 2010

With NASCAR officials still considering changes to the title format, a few drivers share their thoughts:

"I don't think they need to change the Chase," said Clint Bowyer, ranked 11th in the Chase. "I think the competition is closer than it has ever been. That is what we were lacking. Hats off to everybody involved in this sport. This has been a great year."

The championship contenders were asked this week about their preferences. Harvick and Hamlin support a variation of tracks in the final 10 races. The venues have shifted slightly since 2004, but as NASCAR discussed tweaks to the 2011 schedule, the only change was moving Chicago into the Chase and removing California, which has had attendance problems.

"I'd like to see a little bit more diversity in the race tracks," Harvick said. "I don't think the last 10 weeks should be the same race tracks over and over and over again. I think it should rotate around.

"You have it end at different places, have it start at different places. Maybe you go to some of the same race tracks, but I think a different 10 weeks, even a road course at the end of the year would put that full diversity on your champion."

Johnson actually deferred on Chase changes and set his sights on two other NASCAR issues: The grueling 36-race schedule that stretches from February to November, and an abundance of 500-mile races that stretch more than three hours.

"I think a shorter schedule would be awesome. Shorter races, too," Johnson said.

France said such races are on the radar, citing the shortening of the October race at California this year from 500 to 400 miles.