NASCAR announces changes to qualifying, introduces knockouts

NASCAR has announced changes to qualifying.

Speaking in a teleconference Robin Pemberton described the format changes as fan friendly.

“We believe the timing is right for a new qualifying format across our three national series,” said 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.”

The Daytona 500 and the dirt truck race at Eldora Speedway will still operate under existing qualifying formats.

On tracks which are 1.25 miles or longer all vehicles will compete for 25 minutes with the 24 fastest moving onto round two. From there 12 vehicles will compete in a third round. Cars must use the same tires for all three sessions with adjustments being allowed between sessions with the exception of under the hood work.

Tracks under 1.25 miles will only have two rounds with the 12 fastest moving to the second round.

qualifyingAny cars that failed to move onto the second round will be set via speeds from the first round.

There will be no points rewarded for qualifying. The field size will not change.

If weather is to occur in the second session Pemberton said that the field could be set via speeds in the first 25-30 minute session. If any accidents were to occur during a qualifying session there would be a red flag with the clock stopped.

NASCAR will still keep the current provisional format.