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NASCAR Introduces Revamped Qualifying Procedures

Info Manager | , RacinToday.com Wednesday, January 22 2014

Qualifying sessions will look a lot different. (RacinToday/HHP file photo by Harold Hinson)

NASCAR announced Wednesday that it is changing the qualifying formats for its three major touring series beginning with the 2014 season.

At tracks measuring 1.25 miles in length or larger, qualifying for the Coors Light Pole Award will consist of three rounds:

· The first qualifying elimination round will be 25 minutes in duration and includes all cars / trucks. The 24 cars/trucks that post the fastest single lap from the first qualifying round will advance to the second round.

· The remaining cars/trucks will be sorted based on their times posted in the first round of qualifying in descending order.

· The second qualifying elimination round will be 10 minutes in duration and the 12 cars/trucks that post the fastest single lap time will advance to the third and final round. The fastest remaining cars / trucks earn positions 13th through 24th based on their times posted in qualifying in descending order.

· The third and final qualifying round will be five minutes in duration and the fastest single lap time will determine positions 1st through 12th in descending order.

· There will be a five-minute break between each qualifying round.

At tracks measuring less than 1.25 miles, qualifying for the Coors Light Pole Award will consist of two rounds:

· The first qualifying elimination round will be 30 minutes in duration and includes all cars/trucks. The 12 cars/trucks that post the fastest single lap time from the first qualifying round will advance to the second and final round.

· The remaining cars / trucks will be sorted based on their times posted in the first round of qualifying in descending order.

· There will be a 10-minute break between the two qualifying rounds.

· The second and final qualifying round will be 10 minutes in duration and the fastest single lap time posted will determine positions 1st through 12th in descending order.

The new qualifying format does not apply to the Daytona 500, which will preserve its historic and unique qualifying format. Additionally, it does not apply to non-points NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events or the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event at Eldora Speedway.

“Heck,” Cup driver Clint Bowyer said of the new formats, ” I’m all for anything that makes it fun not only the fans but the drivers and teams too. This is really going shake things up on Fridays – in a good way. I’m all for it.”

NASCAR previewed the concept of group qualifying with its national series teams late last fall and expects the new format will be a well-received improvement by its fans, competitors, tracks, sponsors and media partners.

“We believe the timing is right for a new qualifying format across our three national series,” said Robin Pemberton, vice president for competition and racing development. “This style of group qualifying has all the makings of being highly competitive and more engaging to our fans in the stands and those watching on television and online. For the drivers and teams, we believe this new qualifying will fuel even greater competition leading into the events. Additionally, it provides our tracks, broadcasters and other key partners with a greater opportunity to develop more entertaining content for our race weekends.”

Info Manager | , RacinToday.com Wednesday, January 22 2014
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