Surprise: The new all star race format
You can’t talk about the first half of The Cup Series season without talking about The new all-star race format and boy was it a turning point for NASCAR. Not only did it manage to make the race more competitive with a different splitter and a restrictor plate to keep drivers bunched up, it also made sure that the lead car didn’t have an advantage in clean air over the rest of the field.
Of course nothing is perfect and the format will probably have to be fine-tuned a few more times before it is something NASCAR rolls with long term, but it was one of the few steps in the right direction that NASCAR has had this season. In fact, the format also seems to be something that NASCAR will look into implementing throughout the entire season in the future.