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NASCAR Announces Starting Lineup & Competition Caution Procedures for Events Affected by COVID-19 Pandemic


Editor’s note: A previous revision of this article had the starting lineup procedure for the second Darlington and second Charlotte races stated incorrectly. It previously stated that positions 21-40 would be inverted based on the previous race’s results, but that is not the case. Apologies for any inconvenience – JS


On Tuesday Afternoon, NASCAR officials released information regarding starting lineup and pit-selection procedures, plus a modified competition caution process to allow for more wide-ranging adjustments for upcoming events scheduled without practice or qualifying.

Three of the next four events on the revised NASCAR Cup Series schedule will be held without Busch Pole Qualifying to determine a starting lineup; only the Coca-Cola 600 on May 24 will include time trials to set the field. The decision was made to host multiple events without practice and limited qualifying to restrict exposure and at-track time for crews in the wake of the coronavirus health crisis.


STARTING LINEUP PROCEDURES:


NASCAR Cup Series:

Darlington Raceway:

  • May 17th
    • 1st to 12th will be determined by a random draw from charter teams in those positions in team owner points
    • 13th to 24th will be determined by a random draw from charter teams in those positions in team owner points
    • 25th to 36th will be determined by a random draw from charter teams in those positions in team owner points
    • 37th to 40th will be filled out by open, non-chartered teams in order of owner points..
  • May 20th
    • 1st to 20th will be determined by an inversion of the top-twenty finishers from the May 17th event.
    • 21st to 40th will be awarded based on the finishing positions of the May 17th race, with any new entries being placed at the tail end of the field.

Note: Pit-stall selection for the May 17 event will be based on charter team owner points, then open team owner points. Pit selection for May 20 will be determined by the finishing order of the May 17 race.

 

Charlotte Motor Speedway:

  • May 24th (Coca-Cola 600)
    • Qualifying for the Coca-Cola 600 will be single round, single vehicle qualifying, setting all forty positions
  • May 27th
    • 1st to 20th will be determined by an inversion of the top-twenty finishers from the May 24th event.
    • 21st to 40th will be awarded based on the finishing positions of the May 24th race, with any new entries being placed at the tail end of the field.

Note: Pit-selection for Charlotte events will be determined May 24 by qualifying and then May 27 by the results of Coca-Cola 600.


NASCAR Xfinity Series

Darlington Raceway (May 19th) & Charlotte Motor Speedway (May 25th):

  • Starting positions 1-12 among teams in those positions in owner points will be determined by a random draw
  • Starting positions 12-24 among teams in those positions in owner points will be determined by a random draw
  • Starting positions 25-36 among teams in those positions in owner points will be determined by a random draw
  • Starting positions 37-40 among teams in those positions in owner points will be assigned starting positions based on their order of eligibility

Note: Pit selection for the Xfinity Series race at Darlington will be based on qualifying from the series’ most recent race, at Phoenix Raceway, which gives the first selection to the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 54 Toyota.


NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series

Charlotte Motor Speedway (May 26th)

  • Starting positions 1-10 among teams in those positions in owner points
  • Starting positions 11-21 among teams in those positions in owner points
  • Starting positions 22-32 among teams in those positions in owner points
  • Starting positions 33-40 among teams in those positions in owner points, followed by a draw among new teams without owner points.

Note: The order of pit selection for the May 26 Gander Trucks event will be determined by the qualifying results from the series’ most recent race, Feb. 21 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. That means the ThorSport Racing No. 13 Ford entry of Johnny Sauter will have the first selection.



MODIFIED COMPETITION CAUTION PROCESS:


All three of NASCAR’s national series will have a modified competition caution in the early portions of each race. Those stoppages will include freezing the field to accomodate longer pit stops, allowing teams to make more extended in-race adjustments that might normally be made during a practice session.

That modified competition caution procedure includes:

  • Freezing the running order at the time of the caution period
  • Granting the free pass for the first car one lap down
  • No wave-around rule will be in effect for the competition caution
  • Pit road opens to the top 20, then the next 20 on the following lap
  • Each car will keep its position at the time of the caution, provided it beats the pace car off pit road
  • The pit cycle repeats, with the top 20 then next 20 allowed to pit a second time
  • Teams that do not beat the pace car off pit road will lose a lap and restart at the tail of the field; teams that pit more than twice or outside of their designated pit window will also restart at the tail of the field.
  • The lineup will be reset according to the frozen running order for the restart

The competition cautions will occur at or around the following laps:

  • May 17: Cup Series, Darlington: Lap 30
  • May 19: Xfinity Series, Darlington: Lap 15
  • May 20: Cup Series, Darlington: TBD
  • May 24: Cup Series, Charlotte: TBD
  • May 25: Xfinity Series, Charlotte: TBD
  • May 26: Gander Trucks, Charlotte: TBD
  • May 27: Cup Series, Charlotte: TBD

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