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NASCAR Cup: qualifying tweaks expected

during qualifying for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on March 15, 2019 in Fontana, California.

By AMANDA VINCENT

NASCAR is expected to tweak its qualifying procedures ahead of the March 31 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway near Fort Worth after a qualifying debacle at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., on Friday in which none of the 12 cars that advanced to the third and final round of qualifying posted an official lap during the last round.

“I saw, obviously, what our fans don’t want, obviously, having the last 12 cars wait until they couldn’t get a time posted on the board and kind of making a mockery out of the qualifying is not what we expect for our fans,” NASCAR Senior Vice President of Competition Scott Miller said. “It’s a little bit on us that we hoped things would go better than that. It’s an exciting show when they’re out there on the race track but obviously we have a little work to do on our part to get a little bit better format so things like that can’t happen. We certainly want to provide our fans with what they deserve and we and the teams didn’t do a very good job of that today, so we’re really disappointed.”

NASCAR’s new aerodynamic rules package for 2019 that includes larger spoilers and splitters, aerodynamic ducts and tapered spacers has created drafting during qualifying at the two tracks all components of the package have been in use — at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and Auto Club Speedway. As a result, drivers don’t want to be the first one onto the race track and have other drivers go out right behind them and take advantage of them during qualifying.

Chase Elliott was the only driver who failed to post a third-round lap late in the round at LVMS. But at ACS on Friday, all 12 drivers in the final round played the waiting game too long, and NASCAR, as a result, referred to second-round laps to set the top-12 of the starting grid.

Many of the fans in attendance expressed their displeasure in the lack of on-track action in the third round of qualifying with boos as the session ended.

“That’s their (NASCAR’s) problem,” Kyle Busch said. “It has nothing to do with the competitors. Don’t hate the players; hate the game.”

The Cup Series races at the short track Martinsville (Va.) Speedway on March 24. Drafting will not be an issue there.

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Posted by on March 16, 2019. Filed under Breaking News,Featured,Monster Energy NASCAR Cup,NASCAR. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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