Sprint Cup

NASCAR Adopts ‘Knock-Out’ Qualifying

Single car qualifying is a thing of the past as NASCAR has changed the process for the upcoming season. (Photo: HHP/Christa L Thomas)

Single car qualifying is a thing of the past as NASCAR has changed the process for the upcoming season. (Photo: HHP/Christa L Thomas)

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — NASCAR has announced a new revamped format for qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Nationwide Series and Camping World Truck Series.

In some ways, the new format emulates the “knock-out” qualifying procedures already utilized by the IndyCar Series and Formula One World Driving Championship.

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 one through 12 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 one through 12 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.

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.”

“I think the direction NASCAR has taken on a new qualifying format is exactly what we need and I applaud them for taking this step,” said Martinsville Speedway President Clay Campbell. “These two qualifying sessions will be pressure-packed for the teams and drivers which will make it very exciting for the fans to watch. This will give us three action-packed days for the STP 500 weekend March 28-30.”

Michael Waltrip Racing driver Clint Bowyer supports the change.

“Heck, I’m all for anything that makes it fun not only the fans but the drivers and teams too,” said Bowyer. “This is really going shake things up on Fridays — in a good way. I’m all for it. It’s time we go out and get the 5-hour ENERGY Toyota a darn pole.”

Posted by on Jan 22 2014 Filed under Camping World Trucks, Latest Headlines, NASCAR, Sprint Cup, Top Stories, XFINITY. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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