CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — NASCAR is about to become triple the fun.

The circuit's governing body is placing more importance on the early portions of races by dividing them into three stages, with the top 10 drivers receiving bonus points on a 10-through-1 scale following the first two stages. The third stage will be for the overall victory, with traditional point scoring allocated. The race winner will earn 40 points, and the rest of the top 35 finishers will be scored on a 35-to-2 scale. Positions 36th to 40 will receive one point each.

All bonus points accumulated through the 26-race regular season can be used in the 10-race playoff, which will no longer be called "The Chase."

Among other changes:

— The winner of the first two stages of each race will receive one playoff point, and the race winner will receive five playoff points

— All playoff points will carry through to the end of the third round of the playoffs. The four title contenders will race straight-up in the season finale for the title.

— The exhibition duels during Speedweeks at Daytona next month will now be worth 10 points to the two race winners.