Regional championships are returning to the NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series program for the first time since 2004.
NASCAR made the announcement on Thursday during the annual NASCAR promoter’s meeting, which is held every year with NASCAR-sanctioned track operators in Daytona Beach, Florida. The re-introduction comes as the national points system has fallen under increased scrutiny in recent years as the national title has typically been decided in North Carolina and Virginia.
Champions will be crowned in four regions beginning in 2021: Southeast, Northeast, Midwest, and West.
Division I regional champions will receive $15,000 for their triumph, and $35,000 will be paid out to the top-10 drivers in each region. Division II-V racers will also be able to contend for regional championships in the NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series. Each competitors’ 14 best finishes in NASCAR-sanctioned races will count towards points in their respective regional championship battles.
NASCAR previously had regional championships from 1982-2004 before transitioning to the often-controversial national championship structure.
For its part, the NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series national championship will remain, which pays $25,000, with eligible drivers’ 18 best finishes counting toward the title. National championships will also remain in Divisions II-V, with competitors’ 14 best finishes counting towards their crown. NASCAR will also continue to crown state and Canadian province champions.
Josh Berry won the NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series national championship in 2020. With the exception of Steve Carlson (2007), Keith Rocco (2010), and Jacob Goede (2019), every national champion has raced in Late Model Stock Cars in South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia.