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NASCAR reverts to single-car qualifying

during qualifying for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on April 5, 2019 in Bristol, Tennessee.


NASCAR announced Wednesday a return to a single-car qualifying format across all three of its national series at all tracks except road courses. The Gander Outdoors Truck Series had already made a return to single-truck qualifying. Multi-car qualifying will continue on road courses.

The move to return to single-car qualifying results from qualifying issues created when drafting came into play because of the 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series aerodynamic rules package. The new rules package resulted in drafting during multi-car qualifying at tracks 1.5 miles and larger. Drafting in qualifying resulted in nobody wanting to go out first and being at a disadvantage to the cars going out right behind him. That created a waiting game during qualifying at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., that resulted in none of the 12 drivers advancing to the final round of qualifying going out on track in time to post a lap in the final round. Also, the urgency to follow other cars onto the track created a bottleneck at the end of pit road.

“Well, we’ve all seen how group qualifying evolved,” NASCAR Senior Vice President of Competition Scott Miller said. “With the teams all waiting until the last minute, being allotted a block of time and only taking advantage of the last two or three minutes of it, it became problematic from a content standpoint and also from a storytelling standpoint from the broadcaster and radio perspective and that it was very hard to figure out who was doing what when it was only like a two-minute session. A lot of times some of the pole sitters weren’t covered very well because they were kind of surprise pole sitters or whatnot. That and just restoring general order.”

NASCAR used a single-car qualifying format in the Cup Series until 2014, when it transitioned to the group format.

At track’s 1.25 miles and longer, drivers will get one timed lap. At shorter tracks, they’ll get two laps, with the fastest of the two counting. There will only be one round.

Qualifying order will be determined by a drawing based on the previous race’s starting order. The top-20 starters from the previous race will draw for their qualifying order in the second half of qualifying. Starters outside the top-20 the previous race will draw for qualifying order in the first half of qualifying.

“To make a compelling show, we need to make sure that a car stands a chance to win the pole is actually the last car out,” Miller said. “We think that, typically, everybody that qualifies in the top 20 in an event stands a chance of sitting on the pole in a subsequent event. That was the pool we selected to come out of the draw of the last 20 spots to go.”

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Posted by on May 2, 2019. Filed under Breaking News,Featured,Monster Energy NASCAR Cup,NASCAR,NASCAR Xfinity. 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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