Seekonk Speedway Introduces Sunoco Race Fuels Playoff Format For 2022

As part of the new way to crown champions across all nine divisions, competitors will race in three weeks of playoff action in September, headlined by D. Anthony Venditti Fall Classic championship weekend on September 23-24, where champions will be crowned. The inaugural Seekonk Speedway Sunoco race FuelsDrive For the Cup will keep fans on the edge of their seats right down to the last few laps.

The driver who bests three of his toughest competitors in the results of the final race (Fastest Four) will earn the right to be the Seekonk Speedway 2022 track champion and Drive For the Cup winner.

 

The new 2022 season mindset will be simple for everyone involved: Every lap matters. Every race matters. Every position matters.

 

“Debuting this playoff format is something we are excited about because it’s going to keep fans engaged on every single Friday and Saturday night throughout the season,” David Alburn, Competition Director at Seekonk Speedway, said. “The playoffs are going to create a new, fresh buzz around both the pit area and the grandstands and we won’t know who the champions are until right down to the final laps of the final race. Every race will truly matter in 2022.”

 

In every major sport, including NASCAR, the NFL and the NBA, there is some sort of playoff format – and that is where the most entertaining games of the season happen. Think of baseball, in that final moment of the World Series, where a strikeout sends fans going crazy. Or in NASCAR, when the driver racing in the final four edges his competitor by two inches to win the championship. Seekonk Speedway is planning to bring that type of excitement right to Massachusetts during the new year.

 

The regular season will begin on Sunday, May 1 for NASCAR Saturday teams and Friday, May 27 for Fast Friday teams. Concurrent with past years, the regular season format will not change. Drivers will compete in qualifying and feature racing and be awarded the same point totals as previous years. Heat points will be re-introduced for the 2022 season and will count towards the standings, with five points going to the winner, four to second, etc., with fifth earning one point. A point total will be kept for each division, just like before. The season will also still include special event races like the Everett’s Auto Parts Triple Crown Series and extra-distance events. The final weekend of the regular season will be Friday and Saturday, August 26-27

The field will be set across all nine divisions by using the point standings from the regular season. A specific number of top points finishers in each division will enter the playoffs.

 

PRO STOCKS: 8 cars

LATE MODELS: 8 cars

SPORTSMAN: 8 cars

SPORT TRUCKS: 8 cars

LEGENDS CARS: 8 cars

SPORT 4: 8 cars

PURE STOCK: 8 cars

BANDOLERO BANDITS: 6 cars

BANDOLERO OUTLAWS: 6 cars

 

All drivers in the playoff format will be seeded based off their points accumulated by the last completed race before Labor Day, with the number 1 seed being the highest points total from all of the regular season races. Two will be second in points, followed by three, and down through the top six or eight, depending on the division. If the final weekend of the regular season happens to have a rainout, the point totals leading into that weekend will be used to set the playoff field.

 

As part of the August 26-27 weekend, all features will be the Last Chance Wild Card Chance for qualified cars who are outside the top 8 and have attended every week of the season. If a driver meets those criteria and wins that nights feature they will be added to Playoff field as the 9th seed. Different than NASCAR cup series, a win during the season doesn’t lock a driver into the playoffs. Only those drivers who win the feature on the final night of the regular season would be locked in, however, they would need to have run all events during the regular season to be eligible. If there is a rainout on the final night of the regular season, the drivers who won the week before would not be eligible to advance into the playoffs.

 
Once the playoffs begin, the first round will be The Elite Eight on September 9th and 10th. Drivers will be lined up for the feature race based on their finish in qualifying heats. The first drivers in the lineup will be those who qualified through heat races, but are not playoff cars. The playoff contenders will lineup in consecutive rows. If the first playoff driver starts fifth, the rest will be sixth, seventh, eighth, etc. This will continue for all three rounds. Playoff driver lineups will be determined by a blind draw for each event. Drawing order will be based on playoff seedings. The highest seed drawing first , then next highest etc. This will remain constant for all three rounds.  Nothing from previous rounds will matter when it comes to lineups. All remaining drivers in the race will lineup behind the playoff contenders. This is still going to be a race inside a race. Drivers will still earn money, points and value for every single race.

 

Across all rounds of the playoffs, all of Seekonk’s General Rules and Divisional Rules will still be in effect, including technical inspection. If a driver advances through a round but does not pass inspection, the next driver in line will be added to the next round. In round one, the lap distances will be as follows and are subject to change.

 

PRO STOCKS: 45 laps

LATE MODELS: 35 laps

SPORTSMAN: 30 laps

SPORT TRUCKS: 30 laps

LEGENDS CARS: 25 laps

PURE STOCKS: 25 laps

SPORT 4: 25 laps

BANDOLERO DIVISIONS: 15 laps

 

In order to advance to round two, drivers must beat the other competitors in the playoffs during the round one race. For example, if there are 9 total Pro Stocks in round one (this would include one winner, who didn’t make the top 8 in points), only six will move to round two. For all divisions except the Bandolero’s, the top-six finishers in the round one race will advance to round two. In the Bandolero divisions, out of the six eligible drivers, five will advance to round two.

Round Two is the Super Six, on September 15-16. The following will be the lap distances for round two, and are subject to change.

 

PRO STOCKS: 45 laps

LATE MODELS: 35 laps

SPORTSMAN: 30 laps

SPORT TRUCKS: 30 laps

LEGENDS CARS: 25 laps

PURE STOCKS: 25 laps

SPORT 4: 25 laps

BANDOLERO DIVISIONS: 15 laps

 

In order to advance to round three, drivers must beat the other competitors in the playoffs during the round two race. For all divisions, the top four finishers out of those eligible will advance to the finale round. At the end of round two, there will be four drivers from each division who will be set to compete for the playoff championship one week later.

 
The Fastest Four weekend will be D. Anthony Venditti Memorial Fall Classic Championship Weekend, Friday, September 23 and Saturday, September 24. The following will be lap distances for all nine divisions in round three to determine the champion and are subject to change.

 

PRO STOCKS: 50 laps

LATE MODELS: 40 laps

SPORTSMAN: 35 laps

SPORT TRUCKS: 35 laps

LEGENDS CARS: 30 laps

PURE STOCKS: 30 laps

SPORT 4: 30 laps

BANDOLERO DIVISIONS: 15 laps

 

The winner of the Playoffs will be the driver that finishes ahead of the other three fastest Four competitors in the final race. In the event of a rainout in the first two races of the playoffs, there will be no rain date. If this happens, drivers will advance based on their playoff seedings. For example, if round one rains out in the Pro Stocks and there are 8 championship cars, only 6 advance towards round two. Those 6 drivers would be the 6 highest point total drivers from the season. In the event of a rainout on either of the championship days, rain dates will be posted including Sunday and the following weekend. NASCAR and track points will run from opening day right through to the end of the season. This means a driver could still run for NASCAR National, Regional and State points and their weekly point totals will still be accumulated with no changes.

 

In the event the final race cannot be completed due to unforseen circumstances on scheduled date and rain dates, the champion will be decided by highest points total of remaining championship cars.

 

Seekonk Speedway will honor the winner of the Drive For The Cup as the 2022 track champion in their respective division. Seekonk Speedway will continue a points grid, recognizing drivers from both Fast Friday and NASCAR Saturday all year. The points grid will start opening day and end on September 23-24, just like the playoffs will.

 

Points through the entire regular season and playoffs will be honored in the same manner as 50-48-46-44-42 & through the field.  At the end of the final race of the playoffs, there will be a final points grid that includes the point totals from the entire season. The winner of the Drive For The Cup will be the Seekonk Speedway Track Champion and be awarded first place, while positions second on back will be determined based off overall season totals. For example, if car 17 finishes second in the last race of the season and they were in the playoffs, car 25 may end up second in points, because they earned the most points during the season of the others in the division who were not champion.

 

This system will not affect NASCAR points and INEX points which will run independently and separately from Seekonk track points.

 

For more information on Seekonk Speedway, visit SeekonkSpeedway.com and follow the track on social media for the latest updates. Opening day is set for Sunday, May 1, 2022.

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