CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A 16-driver championship field that would be whittled down to create a winner-take-all season finale is among radical changes reportedly being considered by NASCAR.

NASCAR chairman Brian France has repeatedly said he wants to place a greater emphasis on winning, and he’s never ruled out tinkering with the Chase for the Sprint Cup format in an effort to create “Game 7 moments.”

The Charlotte Observer first reported Friday a possible overhaul to the Chase format that France first introduced in 2004 and has made periodic changes to several times since.

Citing anonymous sources, The Observer outlined three major changes beginning with expanding the field from 12 drivers to 16 – meaning a win during the “regular season” would virtually guarantee a driver a spot in the field.

Once the field is set, The Observer said NASCAR is considering eliminations during the 10-race Chase.

The field would be cut after the third, sixth and ninth races. The proposed eliminations would drop the lowest four drivers from title contention after the third, sixth and ninth races, leaving four drivers eligible for a “winner-take-all” race in the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The four remaining drivers would go into Homestead with their points reset and tied in the standings, The Observer said.

Driver Denny Hamlin posted a series of Tweets on Saturday that supported the format if NASCAR ultimately moves forward with the changes.

“This points system change is going to be a really good thing. Trust in it and watch how exciting each chase race is going to be,” Hamlin posted.

Hamlin also Tweeted that every Chase race will now be as exciting as the September race at Richmond, which is the final race to set the Chase field. He also responded to two fans who criticized the format. One argued it was “artificially construed excitement” instead of the traditional consistency that NASCAR used for decades in crowning its champion.

“Consistency will keep you up top,” Hamlin replied.

Hamlin received support from 2012 Cup champion Brad Keselowski, who Tweeted: “Guess we may be in the minority here.”

NASCAR has been working behind the scenes to improve its product, particularly at 1.5-mile tracks, and at least some changes are expected to the points system to meet France’s desire to put a greater emphasis on winning. France was thrilled with the finish of the March race at California, where feuding drivers Hamlin and Joey Logano relentlessly raced for the win.

The two ended up wrecking – Hamlin ended up with a broken bone in his back that sidelined him for more than a month – and Kyle Busch slid through the carnage for the victory as a furious Tony Stewart nearly came to blows with Logano on pit road. It’s that kind of drama that France seeks every week.

So a shake up to the system wouldn’t be unexpected. But it may not necessarily look like what The Observer reported because it’s not unlike NASCAR to float ideas to gauge reaction.

For example, NASCAR officials met in October with drivers to discuss an overhaul to qualifying procedures. Among the “potential” changes discussed that day was road course-style qualifying everywhere but Daytona and Talladega. NASCAR said it was considering a 60-minute drafting session for Daytona and Talladega qualifying.

In reality, cars will qualify as usual next month at Daytona while NASCAR is now apparently considering three rounds of “knockout style” qualifying – similar to what Formula One and IndyCar use – everywhere else but Talladega.