New Twist to DAYTONA 500 Qualifying Presented By Kroger; Preseason Thunder Testing Canceled

A new twist to qualifying for the DAYTONA 500 is among the 2015 rules changes that NASCAR officials announced on Tuesday afternoon.

DAYTONA 500 Qualifying Presented By Kroger, which traditionally features single-car qualifying, will switch to the group qualifying format for 2015. The top two starting positions will be determined through the group qualifying format on Sunday, Feb. 15.

Group qualifying, which debuted this year but was not implemented for the DAYTONA 500, has provided added entertainment to race fans and features all cars on the track at the same time attempting to post the fastest lap.

The results from DAYTONA 500 Qualifying Presented By Kroger will also set the field for the Budweiser Duel At Daytona 150-mile qualifying races on Thursday, Feb. 19. The results from the Budweiser Duel will finalize the starting lineup for the DAYTONA 500.

Also among the rule changes announced on Tuesday is a ban on all testing in 2015, and as a result, Preseason Thunder testing for the 57th annual DAYTONA 500 is canceled. In addition, the Preseason Thunder Fan Fest, the companion event to NASCAR testing, will no longer occur in its existing format.

NASCAR, Daytona International Speedway, teams and drivers are developing a plan over the next several weeks to celebrate the start of the 2015 season and the DAYTONA 500 in the weeks leading into the sport’s biggest event. More details on those plans will be provided at a later date.

The Roar Before The Rolex 24, the critical three-day test for the IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar Championship and Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge teams, as well as Scout Days will continue as scheduled for Jan. 9-11. The season-opening 53rd anniversary of the Rolex 24 At Daytona will be on Jan. 24-25.