NASCAR to debut in-season tournament with $1M prize in 2025

NASCAR will introduce a five-race in-season tournament with a $1 million prize in 2025.

Under the format, announced Monday, the top 32 drivers will be placed in an NCAA tournament-esque bracket in which the head-to-head result of each matchup will determine who advances to the next round in the following race.

The tournament will begin with a night event at Atlanta Motor Speedway on June 28, 2025. The remainder of the races that are participating in the tournament will be announced later.

Seeding will be based on the highest result of each driver over the three races preceding the tournament. Ties will be broken by their second-best finish, then by their spot in the season standings.

"The idea of an in-season tournament has been discussed within the NASCAR industry and as we started to focus on adding promotional elements that drive interest throughout the season, we were excited by the opportunity to leverage the marketing weight of Amazon and TNT Sports to bring this concept to life," NASCAR senior vice president of media and productions Brian Herbst said in a statement.

The new tournament coincides with the new seven-year media rights deal that begins next year. All five tournament races will air on TNT Sports, while the three races that determine the seeding for the bracket will be on Prime Video.

The field of contenders will be reduced to 16 for Race 2, followed by the quarterfinals in Race 3, the semifinals in Race 4 and the final in Race 5.

"Next year, having $1 million on the line, that's for sure going to be a goal before the season starts and something that you and your team strategize around and all that," Kyle Larson said. "I look forward to it. The summer months get stale. Not boring, but it just gets repetitive. You lose some excitement."