Group Qualifying Changes Still Being Discussed by NASCAR
Earlier in the offseason NASCAR announced changes to qualifying with the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Nationwide Series, and Camping World Truck Series now using one of two group qualifying formats for all the races except for the Daytona 500 and the Truck Series race at Eldora.
On Thursday NASCAR explained that they are looking into changing the road course qualifying sessions into the category of a 30 minute first round and a 10 minute final round with the 12 fastest drivers from round one. This is the format that will be used on all tracks 1.25 miles or less. Road courses were originally going to be in the category for tracks over 1.25 miles which will have three rounds with the first being 25 minutes, the second 10 minutes, and the third five minutes.
The change is due to feedback from teams and the fact that lap times at the road courses are long.
Also NASCAR is thinking about allowing teams to make minor changes to the vehicles during the sessions and not just in between sessions like is currently the rule.
NASCAR also announced that the qualifying lineup will be determined by a random draw one hour prior to the first practice session. Cars will line up two to a pit box and be parked nose to the pit wall. When the session goes green it will be up to each team to determine when they want to go out to make a qualifying attempt and also how many laps they run.
Pit road speed will also be enforced although less stickily than during the race. Any dangerous speeding on pit road will get the team parked for the remainder of the session.
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