Saturday, September 30, 2023

NASCAR Announces Changes to Qualifying Format Beginning This Weekend

FONTANA, CA – MARCH 15: Austin Dillon, driver of the #3 Dow Coatings Chevrolet, leads a pack of cars during qualifying for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on March 15, 2019 in Fontana, California. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Well, we knew changes were coming after an embarrassing qualifying at Auto Club Speedway a couple of weeks ago where no cars clocked a qualifying lap in the final round.

Now, if drivers fail to take a lap in a round beginning this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway, all of their previous round speeds will be erased and the driver will start at the rear of the field.

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“Qualifying is an important element of the race weekend, and NASCAR has worked closely with the teams to implement a procedure that is both fair from a competition perspective and entertaining for our fans,” said Scott Miller, NASCAR’s senior vice president of competition. “Starting this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway, we will implement a procedural change that will be in effect for all three national series. We expect the updated procedure to result in a better outcome for drivers, fans and our track and broadcast partners.”

Previously, if a car failed to complete a lap in the round they would be credited with the final spot in their designated round. (24th for Round 2, 12th for Round 3).

Also, to prevent the weird cat and mouse games on pit road, drivers are now required to enter the track and run laps as soon as they leave (the official staging area) their pit stall.

Toby Christie
Toby Christie
Toby is the Founder, and Editor-in-Chief of Toby is also the co-host of The Final Lap Weekly Podcast. Additionally, he is an award-winning writer, and has followed the sport as a fan since 1993.

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