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NASCAR Introduces New Qualifying Format for 2014 (Video)

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images for NASCAR

Gone are the days of NASACR’s single-car qualifying runs. In 2014, NASCAR will usher in the new era of qualifying. Taking a page from several international touring series. Drivers in NASCAR’s three national series will now fight for the pole position through knockout rounds.

In a move aimed toward enhancing the fan experience watching at the track and at home, NASCAR has announced a new group qualifying format. The goal is to try and emulate actual on-track competition and underlines the sport’s on-going commitment to innovation.

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At tracks measuring 1.25 miles in length or larger, qualifying for the Coors Light Pole Award will consist of three rounds:

  • The first qualifying elimination round will be 25 minutes in duration and includes all cars / trucks. The 24 cars / trucks that post the fastest single lap from the first qualifying round will advance to the second round.
  • The remaining cars / trucks will be sorted based on their times posted in the first round of qualifying in descending order.
  • The second qualifying elimination round will be 10 minutes in duration and the 12 cars / trucks that post the fastest single lap time will advance to the third and final round. The fastest remaining cars / trucks earn positions 13th through 24th based on their times posted in qualifying in descending order.
  • The third and final qualifying round will be five minutes in duration and the fastest single lap time will determine positions 1st through 12th in descending order.
  • There will be a five-minute break between each qualifying round.

At tracks measuring less than 1.25 miles, qualifying for the Coors Light Pole Award will consist of two rounds:

  • The first qualifying elimination round will be 30 minutes in duration and includes all cars / trucks. The 12 cars / trucks that post the fastest single lap time from the first qualifying round will advance to the second and final round.
  • The remaining cars / trucks will be sorted based on their times posted in the first round of qualifying in descending order.
  • There will be a 10-minute break between the two qualifying rounds.
  • The second and final qualifying round will be 10 minutes in duration and the fastest single lap time posted will determine positions 1st through 12th in descending order.

The official title of the award in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series is the Keystone Light Pole Award.

The new qualifying format does not apply to the Daytona 500, which will preserve its historic and unique qualifying format. Additionally, it does not apply to non-points NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events or the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event at Eldora Speedway.

NASCAR previewed the concept of group qualifying with its national series teams late last fall and expects the new format will be a well-received improvement by its fans, competitors, tracks, sponsors and media partners.

NASACR Vice President for Competition and Racing said that NASCAR feels that the timing is right for a new qualifying format across their three national series.

This style of group qualifying has all the makings of being highly competitive and more engaging to our fans in the stands and those watching on television and online. For the drivers and teams, we believe this new qualifying will fuel even greater competition leading into the events. Additionally, it provides our tracks, broadcasters and other key partners with a greater opportunity to develop more entertaining content for our race weekends.”

For more details on NASCAR, visit www.NASCAR.com.

Next: Fans To Vote On Race Format For The 2014 Sprint Unlimited At Daytona

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