A sweeping change to NASCAR's qualifying format is set
to make things a whole lot more exciting in 2014. The
qualifying format is undergoing a complete overhaul this
season for most races, switching to a group setup that will
put drivers on the track at the same time.Designed to emulate an actual race,
the process will require each driver
entered in the race to be on the track
during the opening qualifying session.
NASCAR will eventually cut the group
to the 12 fastest drivers, and then
determine the pole from there. The 12
drivers in the final group will start 1-12
in the race.
OUT WITH THE OLD
NASCAR's previous system
determined starting lineups based on
individual drivers each running two
qualifying laps. Only one car was
allowed on the track at a time. In 2014,
with the exception of the Daytona 500
and the Truck Series race at Eldora
Speedway, the new qualifying
procedures will be enacted. NASCAR is
hoping for more excitement and
revenue from the change, as the new
format is expected to fit nicely into a
one-hour television slot.
Get to know the rules of the new
qualifying set up:
Prior to the first session, cars will
be lined up on pit road based on
random draw and will enter the track in
that order. Later rounds will be based
on speeds from previous rounds.
The official time in each session
is considered a driver's fastest time.
Teams can only adjust their cars
during breaks and are not allowed to
jack up the vehicle or raise the hood.
If there is an accident, the
session will be red-flagged. The
shutdown time will not count toward
the length of the session.
If it rains during qualifying, the
last completed session will
determine the starting order.
If two drivers post the same
speed, owner points will determine
their starting position.