2014 Changes

The sanctioning body of NASCAR has announced changes to the qualifying process for its three national series that NASCAR says should be more exciting for the fans and its drivers.

Sprint Cup teams, beginning with the second race of the season at Phoenix International Raceway, as many as 25 cars will be on track at once, with two or three progressively shorter timed qualifying sessions that will determine who wins the pole.

The new qualifying format does not apply to the Daytona 500, which will preserve its unique qualifying format. It also does not apply to non-points Sprint Cup Series events, like the All-Star race or the Truck Series event at Eldora Speedway.

Robin Pemberton, vice president for competition and racing development said.
“We believe the timing is right for a new qualifying format across our three national series. 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.”

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NASCAR’s official release concerning the qualifying changes reads as such.

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.

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NASCAR is also expected to announce changes to the ten race chase at the end of the season sometime next week. Rumor is the field will be expanded from 12 to 16 drivers with elimination of drivers during the chase culminating in a four driver shoot-out at the last race of the season in Homestead.



Categories: NASCAR, Sports

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