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NASCAR Announces Elimination of Practice and Qualifying for Remainder of 2020 Season

FORT WORTH, TEXAS – JULY 19: Aric Almirola, driver of the #10 Smithfield Hometown Original Ford, and Ryan Blaney, driver of the #12 Menards/Maytag Ford, lead the field to start the NASCAR Cup Series O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on July 19, 2020 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

NASCAR’s top-three series will continue to run races without additional on-track time, the sanctioning body announced Tuesday Afternoon.

The choice to remove practice and qualifying from race weekends across all three of NASCAR’s National Series, is viewed as a necessity by many industry workers, who have continued to express concerns over the continual increase in COVID-19 cases throughout the country. With less on-track time each weekend, drivers and crew members are able to significantly reduce the potential for exposure to the virus, which already forced the sanctioning body to take a nine-week hiatus from racing earlier in the spring.

Without qualifying sessions, NASCAR has been determining the starting lineup for each race by a segmented random draw – which randomly selects the pole winner from the top 12 teams in NASCAR Cup Series / NASCAR Xfinity Series Owner Standings, or the top-ten teams in NASCAR Truck Series Owner Standings.

NASCAR’s top-three series have all either eliminated or substantially reduced the amount of “non-essential” on-track time since the return to racing in May, with only two races holding any additional on-track activities – the Coca-Cola 600 (Qualifying) and Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s Road Course (two practice sessions.)

NASCAR’s Senior Vice President of Competition, Scott Miller, mentioned in his statement, that the starting lineup procedure for the series’ playoff races will be different than the current format, but that the specifications would be announced at a later date.


“Following discussions with our race teams and the broader industry, NASCAR will continue to conduct its race weekends without practice and qualifying for the remainder of the 2020 season in all three national series. The current format has worked well in addressing several challenges during our return to racing. Most importantly, we have seen competitive racing week-to-week. NASCAR will adjust the starting lineup draw procedure for the Playoff races, and will announce the new process at a later date.”  – Scott Miller, NASCAR Senior Vice President, Competition

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