NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Qualifying Rules



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2014 Sprint Cup Series Qualifying Rules
Sprint Cup Series Starting Positions Procedure
If Qualifying is cancelled
Current Daytona 500 Qualifying Rules
Qualifying News & Rumors
2013 Sprint Cup Series Qualifying Rules
Past Sprint Cup Series Qualifying Rules
2005-2012 Daytona 500 Qualifying Rules
How to Calculate Track Speeds
43 requirement...a myth
Past Champions Provisional Rule


2014 Qualifying Rules and Notes

  • NOTE there is no longer a Top-35 rule. That rule was done away with after the 2012 season

  • Qualifying Rules: Each team must send a representative for a random drawing at a time and location designated by NASCAR. The order of the random drawing will be conducted in accordance with owner championship points for cars that have entered by the Entry deadline, starting with the highest points holder. Until the completion of three (3) Events of the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season, the final 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship car owner points standings will be used for determining the order of the random draw. After the third (3rd) completed Event and until the completion of the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season, the current 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship car owner points standings will be used for determining the order of the random draw. This drawing will be made at a time specified on the Schedule of Events on the Official Entry Blank. If the car is not in the Garage area at the time of the drawing, only the driver may draw. If the car is in the Garage area at the time of the drawing, a designated member of the crew may draw. If the driver or car owner or designated member of crew is not present at the time of the drawing, a NASCAR Official will draw for the team.

  • At tracks measuring less than 1.25 miles in length AND Road Courses, qualifying will consist of two (2) rounds.
    1) The first qualifying round is 30 minutes in duration, unless otherwise authorized by the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Director.
    2) All cars must compete in the first qualifying round. Upon the completion of the first qualifying round, the 43 eligible cars for starting positions 1-43 will be determined.
    3) The twelve (12) eligible cars that post the fastest single lap time from the first qualifying round will advance to the final qualifying round.
    4) The remaining cars will be sorted based on their times posted in the first round of qualifying in descending order. There will be a ten minute break after the completion of the first round and the twelve (12) eligible cars that advance to the final round will have their times reset. The final qualifying round will be 10 minutes in duration, and the fastest single lap time posted in the final round will determine positions 1st through 12th in descending order.

  • At tracks measuring 1.25 miles in length or larger, qualifying will consist of three (3) rounds:
    1) The first qualifying round is 25 minutes in duration, unless otherwise authorized by the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Director.
    2) All cars must compete in the first qualifying round. Upon the completion of the first qualifying round, the 43 eligible cars for starting positions 1-43 will be determined.
    3) The twenty-four (24) eligible cars that post the fastest single lap time from the first qualifying round will advance to the second round.
    4) The remaining cars will be sorted based on their times posted in the first round of qualifying in descending order.
    5) There will be a five minute break after the completion of the first round and the twenty-four (24) eligible cars that advance to the second round will have their times reset.
    6) The second qualifying round is 10 minutes in duration and the twelve (12) eligible cars that post the fastest single lap time will advance to the final round.
    7) The fastest remaining cars will earn positions 13th through 24th based on their times posted in qualifying in descending order.
    8) There will be a five minute break after the completion of the second round and the twelve (12) eligible cars that advance to the final round will have their times reset. 9) The final qualifying round is 5 minutes in duration and the fastest single lap time will determine positions 1st through 12th in descending order.

  • Qualifying rules for both formats:
    " Cars will be lined up on pit road based on the random drawing results.
    " Each car is permitted to enter and exit the race track during qualifying at any time while the green flag is displayed.
    " Cars will be required to enter the track under the same procedures set forth by NASCAR for this Event.
    " Cars must follow the same pit entry, pit exit and pit road speed requirements set forth by NASCAR for this Event.
    " Cars are permitted to complete as many laps as they like during the time allotment as specified above.
    " During any qualifying round, a timed lap cannot begin or end on pit road.
    " Teams will be limited in the adjustments that will be permitted.
    " The permitted adjustments during a qualifying round included rear wedge, track bar, tape and tire pressure.
    " The permitted adjustments between each qualifying round include rear wedge, track bar, tape, tire pressure and plugging in the oil heater.
    " Unless otherwise authorized by the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Director, only one set of tires are permitted during qualifying.
    " A NASCAR Official must give permission to remove a car from Pit Road, the car will not be permitted to return or compete in that qualifying round or any future qualifying round(s) for this Event and may be subject to penalty.
    " All cars competing in a qualifying round are required to have a Spotter in the spotters stand and a designated person on pit road.
    " In the event of red flag conditions and at the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Director discretion, the time in each qualifying round will be stopped and will resume once the green flag is displayed.
    " Once the time in each qualifying round has expired, a car is permitted to cross the start/finish line one time.
    " If a car crosses the start/finish line more than once, that lap time will be disallowed and may be subject to penalty.
    " In the event a car advances to the next qualifying round and is not able or decides not to compete, said car will earn the last qualifying position for that particular qualifying round.
    " If two or more cars are not able or decide not to compete in the subsequent qualifying round, the qualifying position will be determined based on the qualifying speed of the previous round for those two or more cars.

    Additional Qualifying Rules: determined based on the qualifying speed of the previous round for those two or more cars. " If one or more qualifying rounds are completed, but the final qualifying round is not completed due to weather or other adverse circumstances, the starting positions will be determined based on the most recent completed qualifying round.
    " If scheduled and/or rescheduled qualifying is not completed due to adverse conditions, starting positions will be determined per Section 9-5 of the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Rule Book (in 2013, if qualifying was cancelled, the rule was to set the field by the practice speeds in the first practice).

  • Some updates to the new group qualifying rules: during NASCAR Media Day at Daytona on Thursday, February 13, 2014. First a statement by NASCAR's vice president of competition and racing development, Robin Pemberton, then a quick Q&A:
    ROBIN PEMBERTON: As everybody knows or most everybody knows, we're changing our qualifying format for this year for the three national series. We talked to most of you in the off-season at some different venues and explained that we were continuing our talks and our meetings with the teams and were going to compile that information and then finalize our qualifying format.
    So, as it remains same, there will be three rounds of qualifying on our larger than mile-and-a-quarter racetracks. There will be two rounds in the mile-and-a-quarter and less. The difference will be our five road courses will move into the short track version. Through feedback, they felt like the second or last round needed to be a little bit longer to get multiple laps in on the track, so this should optimize their track time.
    The other feedback we had gotten was about the adjustments to the cars during qualifying rounds. Starting in Phoenix, the teams will be able to adjust during their qualifying rounds and in the breaks of their qualifying rounds. If it's during the round when the track is hot, there will be one crew member over the wall that must wear a helmet and he can perform the adjustments which are tape, tire pressures and wedge. And then during the breaks, it will be three crew members when the track is cold, and they'll go over to perform those duties.
    The exception to this are the Daytona and Talladega qualifying, there will be no changes during the rounds. We feel like the Super Speedway is unique anyways, and due to the drafting, which will be most important during those sessions, we feel like we'll limit those changes to the breaks. Q. I'm just a little bit confused. There will be a crew member who, during the qualifying session, can make changes to the vehicle? So someone could go out for three or four laps, come back in, wait a little bit, make changes, go out again. Is that correct?
    ROBIN PEMBERTON: That is true. That is correct.
    Q. Why the addition of adjustments allowed during the sessions now instead of just between them?
    ROBIN PEMBERTON: It was our feedback through the teams that when we went back and looked at the minutes of the meetings, that seemed to be the most common question. Because of the length and really because of the length of the first round, they felt like if it was an opportunity for them to still make adjustments and still give it a little time for the tires to cool down, engine to cool down. So that was probably unanimous amongst all of our national series, the Camping World Truck Series, Nationwide Series, and the Sprint Cup Series.(NASCAR)
    See the 2014 qualifying changes and rules below.(2-13-2014)

  • New Qualifying Format announced: In a move aimed toward enhancing the fan experience watching at the track and at home, NASCAR has announced a new group qualifying format for its three national series that is more compelling, more closely emulates actual on-track competition and underlines the sport's on-going commitment to innovation.

    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 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. "We believe the timing is right for a new qualifying format across our three national series," said Robin Pemberton, vice president for competition and racing development. "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."(NASCAR)
    NASCAR has also furnished a Fact Sheet & FAQ document to explain the process.(1-22-2014)

  • Some highlights of the new qualifying rules:
    1) READY, SET, GO, RESET! Top laps speeds reset after each round. If you want to advance, you have to continue to go faster than your competition.
    2) PIT ROAD DOS & DONT'S: Teams will be able to make limited adjustments, but only between rounds (rear wedge, track bar, tire pressure, tape and plugging in oil). Repairs cannot be made on pit road. Vehicles must follow the same pit entry, pit exit and pit road speed requirements set forth by NASCAR for the event.
    3) BEAT THE CLOCK! Once the clock strikes zero, the vehicle can pass the start/ finish line one time.
    4) KEEP OUT OF THE GARAGE: Once a car re-enters the garage, it is removed from qualifying and positioned in the starting lineup by its top lap speed in its last round competed.)NASCAR(1-22-2014)

  • QUALIFYING 101 NASCAR FAST FACTS & FAQs:
    Q. How does this new qualifying impact the Coors Light Pole Award or Keystone Light Pole Award?
    A. The fastest driver in the final round of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR Nationwide Series qualifying will earn the Coors Light Pole Award. The fastest driver in the final round of NASCAR Camping World Truck Series qualifying will earn the Keystone Light Pole Award.

    Q. How will the cars/trucks be chosen in the first round of qualifying?
    A. Cars/trucks will be lined up on pit road based on a random draw.

    Q. Where will the cars/trucks that advance go between rounds?
    A. Cars/trucks that advance return to their respective pit stalls in preparation for the next round of qualifying.

    Q. What kind of adjustments can be made on pit road during qualifying?
    A. Teams can make wedge, track bar, tire pressure and tape adjustments and also plug in oil on pit road, but only between each qualifying round. A team cannot jack up the vehicle or raise the hood.

    Q. What happens if a car/truck is involved in an on track incident during one of the qualifying rounds? Are they permitted to return to pit road and/or the garage to make repairs?
    A. Repairs are not permissible on pit road or in the garage during qualifying. Once a vehicle returns to the garage, it will not be permitted to return or compete in that qualifying round or any future qualifying rounds for that event.

    Q. Will vehicles' top lap speeds carry over between rounds?
    A. No. Top lap speeds are reset after each round.

    Q. Will NASCAR stop the clock during a qualifying round because of an incident?
    A. The clock will stop if the red flag is displayed and it can also be stopped at the discretion of the managing director of the series.

    Q. What happens when the clock strikes zero at the end of a round?
    A. Vehicles are allowed to cross the start/finish line one time.

    Q. Does a car/truck have to compete for the entire duration of a session?
    A. No, but the vehicle must complete one lap in order to record a qualifying time.

    Q. Does the new qualifying format impact provisionals?
    A. No. NASCAR's provisional system remains intact and provisionals will be assigned at the end of the first round of qualifying.

    Q. What if two or more vehicles finish tied with the same top lap speed?
    A. If multiple vehicles are tied with the same top lap speed, their starting position will be determined by the owner point standings. If owner points cannot break the tie, the driver setting the duplicate time first would start in front of the other. Note: Owner points from the previous season will be used to break ties until the completion of the third championship event of the current season.

    Q. What happens if qualifying can't be completed because of weather or other adverse conditions?
    A. If one or more qualifying sessions are completed, the starting positions will be determined based on the most-recently completed qualifying sessions.

    Q. What happens if qualifying is canceled because of weather or other adverse conditions?
    A. Starting positions will be determined per the rule book.

    Q. Will this format also be used for road courses?
    A. This format will be used at all NASCAR tracks across all three national series, with the exception of the Daytona 500 and non-points NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Eldora Speedway.

    Q. Will pit stall selections be handled as they have been previously, with the No. 1 qualifier getting first choice, No. 2 qualifier getting the second choice, etc.?
    A. The pit stall selection process post-qualifying will remain the same.(NASCAR)(1-22-2014)

  • How to Calculate Track Speeds: use the formula Speed = Distance divided by Time. Distance is Track Length, and Lap Time into Hours. Once hour is 3600 seconds, so the calculation for a 48 second lap at Daytona(2.5 miles) would be: Speed = 2.5 x (3600/48), = 2.5 x 75 = 187.500mph. For a 19 second lap at Bristol(.533 miles): Speed = .533 x (3600/19), = .533 x 189.474 = a speed of 100.990mph


2014 Sprint Cup Series Starting Positions Procedure

  • NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Starting Positions Procedure (except Daytona 500): The following will be the procedure for determining eligibility for and assigning the 43 starting positions for this 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Event, providing all entrants have had an opportunity to qualify (what constitutes an opportunity shall be at the discretion of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Director).

    1) Starting positions one (1) through thirty-six (36) will be determined by the fastest qualifying speeds, in accordance with the qualifying rules posted above, in descending order with the fast qualifier being first.

    2) The next six (6) starting positions (37- 42) will be provisional starting positions that were not among the fastest 36 from qualifying. Provisional starting positions will be assigned to the highest ranked NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship car owners who are present at the Event and have entered the Event by the entry deadline and will be assigned in descending order until the six (6) provisional spots are filled. Once provisional starting positions have been assigned to the applicable NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car owners, they will be placed in the starting line up by their qualifying speed in descending order with the fastest qualifying speed starting thirty-seventh.

    3) If positions 37 - 42 are not filled by eligible car owners, the remaining positions will be assigned to car owners based on qualifying results.

    4) Until the completion of three (3) Events of the current NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season, the final NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship car owner point standings from the previous season will be used for determining the starting positions for the highest ranked car owners as described above. After the third (3rd) completed Event, and until the completion of the current NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season, the current NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship car owner point standings will be used for determining the provisional starting positions for the highest ranked car owners as described above.

    5) If after starting positions 1 through 42 are assigned and there remains a car owner whose driver is the current or a former NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion who participated as a driver in the previous NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and who was entered in the Event for that owner in that car prior to the entry deadline, a 43rd provisional starting position, the "Champion's Provisional", will be assigned to that car owner. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car owners are eligible for a maximum of six (6) "Champion's Provisional" opportunities during the current season, regardless of the Champion driver. The most recent NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion driver not previously qualifying for positions 1 through 42 will be assigned the "Champion's Provisional" starting position if the car owner is eligible. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion drivers will be eligible for a maximum of six (6) "Champion's Provisional" opportunities during the current season.

    6) If the 43rd provisional starting position is not filled by an eligible NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion, it will be assigned to the next highest ranked car owner based on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship car owner points. A current or former NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion driver shall be eligible for a "Champion's Provisional" once every six (6) qualifying attempts in the current season. If any starting positions remain unfilled, they will be assigned according to current calendar year NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship car owner point standings. In case of a tie, ties will be broken as set forth in the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Rule Book, sub-section 17-4, C-1 (usually owners points rank).

    7) If any starting positions remain unfilled, they will be assigned to the car owners who have made the greatest number of qualifying attempts during the current season. If two (2) or more car owners have accumulated the same number of qualifying attempts, the positions will be filled in order of current calendar year car owner point standings. In case of a tie, ties will be broken as set forth in the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Rule Book, sub-section 17-4, C-1.

    8) If any starting positions remain unfilled, they will be assigned to cars in order (1,2,3...etc.) in which their numbers were selected in the qualifying draw for this Event. In the event conditions prevent time trials, starting positions will be assigned according to the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Rule Book.


If Qualifying is Cancelled

  • If the first practice is held but qualifying canceled:
    If the first practice is run, but qualifying is unable to take place and is canceled, the procedure for how teams are chosen to fill the field:
    1) Top 36 in owners points (previous season 1st three races, then current season).
    2) Past Series Champions not in the top 36 of owners points.
    3) Race attempts, ties broken by owners points rank.
    The starting order is then set by 1st practice speed.
    If two or more teams have no attempts, the team highest in qualifying draw gets in the race.
    Provisionals are not used and not charged to past series champions.

  • If practices AND qualifying are cancelled [rain, etc], the following procedure is used:
    1) For the first three races of the current season the top 36 teams in the previous season owner points would make the race [team doesn't have to had run all the races in that season]. After the first three races of the current season, the top 36 teams in the current season owners points, would make the race.
    2) Then any winning driver or team owner from the current or previous seasons, as well as any past champions, make the field.
    3) Then, for the first three races of the current season, any of the top 36 teams in owner points for this year would make the field.
    4) Then it goes to qualifying attempts this year, with ties broken by owner points.


DAYTONA 500 QUALIFYING RULES
HOW TO QUALIFY FOR THE DAYTONA 500 since 2013

(starting for 2013, see below for the old top-35 rules use from 2007-2012)

  • How To Qualify For The Daytona 500 - 2013: Qualifying for the Daytona 500 is unlike any other auto racing qualifying procedure. Drivers have multiple opportunities to qualify for the season-opening race, as opposed to the usual format of one qualifying session per event. The first chance comes via Daytona 500 Coors Light Pole Qualifying, which will be held Sunday, Feb. 17 on FOX. The other chance is the Duel at Daytona, two 150-mile qualifying races held on Thursday, Feb. 21 on SPEED. Below is a breakdown of the Daytona 500 qualifying procedure:
    Daytona 500 Coors Light Pole Qualifying
    " Each team may run two consecutive laps with the fast lap setting the qualifying time. The two fastest qualifiers earn starting positions one and two and are the only guaranteed positions, filling the front row for the Daytona 500 and pole positions for the two qualifying races.
    " The Duel at Daytona, two 150-mile qualifying races, will determine starting positions for the Daytona 500 beyond the front row. In the event of cancellation, the field will be set according to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Rule Book.
    Duel at Daytona
    " Those cars earning odd-numbered positions from qualifying will be assigned to the first Duel race. Those cars earning even-numbered positions from qualifying will compete in the second race.
    " The starting positions for each Duel race will also be based on qualifying times.
    Daytona 500 Lineup
    " The two fastest qualifiers set starting positions one and two.
    " The highest 15 finishers in each Duel race - excluding the already locked-in front row - will earn a spot in the Daytona 500, and fill positions 3-32.
    " Based on their finishing position in the first Duel race, the top 15 will line up on the inside row (odd-number starting positions).
    " Based on their finishing position in the second Duel race, the top 15 will line up on the outside row (even-number starting positions).
    " Positions 33-36 will go to the four fastest cars from qualifying that have not already earned a spot.
    " Position 37-42 will be provisional positions, and go to the highest six cars in 2012 owner points that have not already qualified via the Duel or Coors Light Pole qualifying. Once provisional starting positions have been assigned, they will be placed in the starting lineup by their qualifying speed in descending order with the fastest qualifying speed starting thirty-seventh.
    " The 43rd starting position will be assigned to any car owner who has the most recent eligible past NASCAR Sprint Cup champion who did not make the field by any other method, providing the driver had competed in the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup season. If the 43rd position remains unused it will be assigned to the next highest car in 2012 owner points not already locked into the field.(NASCAR)(2-17-2013)

    Step 1) Positions 1-2: set by first round qualifying, the fastest two drivers.

    Step 2) Positions 3-32: set by the results of the Budweiser Duel 150, 32 drivers, not already in by step 1. Drivers who finish in the top 15 in their respective races earn spots in the Daytona 500 and the 16th-place driver gets in as long as one of the top-15 drivers already occupies one of the two front row spots.

    Step 3) Positions 33-36: the fastest four drivers from qualifying not in already from steps 1 and 2.

    Step 4) Positions 37-42: the highest drivers in the previous season's OWNERS points standing not already in the race.

    Step 5) Postion 43: to a former Sprint Cup Champion not already in by the criteria set in steps 1 thru 4. If there is no former champ not in, the next driver whose team in the highest in the previous OWNERS points standings

  • The Daytona 500 has a different qualifying format: Only the two fastest drivers secure starting spots for the Daytona 500 in qualifying on Sunday, February 17th. Qualifying speeds will be used to set the lineups for Thursday's Budweiser Duel 150-mile qualifying races. Odd numbers -- first, third, fifth and so on -- go in the first race, even numbers in the second. Results from the Budweiser Duel will set positions 3 through 32 for the Daytona 500. The next four spots in the Daytona 500 field will go to the drivers with the four fastest qualifying speeds who have not yet made the field. The final six spots go to provisional starters based on last season's car owner points standings. The 43rd and final spot goes to a past Sprint Cup Series champion, if needed. If not used then the spot goes to the the next driver whose team in the highest in the previous owners points standings. The pole sitting driving is assured of starting on the pole in the Daytona 500 and the second-fastest driver is assured of starting on the outside of the front row for the Daytona 500. The third-fastest, however, could start the Daytona 500 as far back as 33rd depending on how they finish in the Budweiser Duel.

  • Qualifying sets only Daytona 500 front row: Sunday's Daytona 500 Coors Light Pole qualifying is unique in that only the top two positions will be guaranteed. Remaining qualifiers are seeded by qualifying speed into Thursday's Budweiser Duel, two 150-mile races from which the majority of the final starting grid for the Daytona 500 is set. The front-row qualifiers and the highest 15 finishers in each Duel - excluding the front row from qualifying - will earn a spot in the Daytona 500. The next four fastest Coors Light Pole qualifiers will make up positions 33-36. Six provisional starting positions (37 through 42) will be awarded to the highest eligible car owners in final 2012 standings not otherwise qualified for the race. The 43rd position will be filled by the most recent past champion participating in a 2012 event. Should no past champion be eligible, the final position goes to the next highest owner in 2012 points. The most recent Daytona 500 pole winner to win the race was Dale Jarrett in 2000, one of two drivers (Bill Elliott is the other) to sweep The Sprint Unlimited, pole and race in the same season.(NASCAR)(2-17-2013)


News and Rumors about qualifying


  • NASCAR could tweak qualifying rules at plate tracks: That strange qualifying session at Daytona International Speedway might end up being a one-time thing. NASCAR executive Robin Pemberton said rules could be tweaked to prevent teams from trying to scheme ways to post the fastest laps during the three knockout stages. "I think we'll learn from all of this moving forward and continue to talk and see if there's anything that we need to look at to try to make things better for the fans and better for the competitors," said Pemberton, NASCAR's vice president of competition. "All in all, it's been a great year for qualifying and it's been a great year for a lot of different rule changes that we put into play this year. We'll sit down and we'll talk about some of these things toward the latter stages of the year and see what we may rub on and do a little changing or some things like that." NASCAR's new qualifying rules package was used for the first time at Daytona in the Sprint Cup Series on Friday, and it produced some head-scratching moments as groups of cars slowed to a crawl around the 2 1/2-mile superspeedway. The small packs - most of them formed by teammates - were hoping to pull behind bigger groups and draft behind them to produce fast laps. But no one was eager to lead the way, especially not in a huge cluster of cars. NASCAR could conceivably change the qualifying rules before the Oct. 19 race at Talladega.(Associated Press)(7-6-2014)

  • Changes Coming to Cup qualifying: The Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series each will change its qualifying format this season, doing away with single-car runs, NASCAR confirmed Friday. Robin Pemberton, vice president of competition, announced the change but would not reveal details. He said that format changes will be announced later this month - among several moves NASCAR is expected to announce throughout January. Pemberton said that the changes in both series qualifying formats would include the season-opening races at Daytona International Speedway. NASCAR won't say if the format will change to qualifying races, group qualifying, the knock-out qualifying system used in Formula 1 or some other format instead of running one car at a time on the track. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series also is expected to have changes made to its qualifying procedure this season. Pemberton said the Daytona 500 qualifying format for the Cup series will remain the same with single-car runs on Feb. 16 on the Budweiser Duel at Daytona on Feb. 20.(Motors Racing Network)(1-11-2014)

  • NASCAR looking at changes to qualifying? UPDATE: NASCAR is kicking around the idea of qualifying the top 38 drivers on time and cutting the number of provisionals down to four plus one for former champions. With sponsors at a premium right now, it could be catastrophic to eliminate provisionals altogether, particularly when a driver missing a race could result in a benefactor pulling its support from the team.(Fox Sports)(7-24-2012)
    UPDATE: NASCAR's rule guaranteeing the top 35 teams in the Sprint Cup series a spot in each race may be going away in 2013. Vice president of competition Robin Pemberton said on Thursday that NASCAR is talking to teams about doing away with guaranteed starting spots in the Cup, Nationwide and Truck Series with the hope of putting more emphasis on qualifying. "People want to see it go back to where speed gets you in,'' Pemberton said from the infield at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Pemberton did not discuss specifics of the new qualifying rules, but sources close to the situation told ESPN.com one plan is to have the top 38 cars get in on speed with one past champions provisional and four provisionals for the top four drivers in points that didn't make it on speed. Under the current system in Cup, the top 35 teams are guaranteed a spot in the field regardless of whether they run a qualifying lap or not. That number is 30 for Nationwide and 25 for Trucks. The system was put in place in 2005 to assure full-time teams with big-name drivers and big sponsors did not miss the race. If the top-35 rule is eliminated, cars inside the top 35 at the end of 2012 won't be guaranteed a spot in the first five races of 2013 as has been the case in the past. Pemberton said that won't totally eliminate owners purchasing numbers for the Daytona 500, where points are used from the previous season, but the need won't be as great.(ESPN)
    This sounds similar to the old provisional system last used during the 2004 season, see how it worked and some notes about it on my 2004 Provisionals page.(7-27-2012)

  • Change in Sprint Cup qualifying? NASCAR is considering a new system that would change the order of qualifying. Instead of drawing for qualifying order as teams have done in previous seasons, the qualifying order would at least in part be determined by speed in the practice prior to qualifying. Teams in the Camping World Truck Series already use the system [a few times in 2010]. "It is a possibility. ... We're throwing a bunch of ideas around in the meetings with the teams," NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Director John Darby said Friday. "We want to finish all the meetings, get everybody's input and then finalize some stuff." The idea is to have the faster drivers, the ones who will challenge for the pole, qualify near the end of the session and add drama to the qualifying show. It is possible that the drivers not locked in the field because their teams are outside the top 35 in owner points will still be grouped together at the end of the session.(SceneDaily)(1-22-2011)

  • Go or Go Home Drivers to Qualify Together: NASCAR announced in January that starting with the Sprint Cup race at Auto Club Speedway [California], teams outside the top 35 in owners points will be allowed to qualify together at the end of the qualifying session. The Nationwide and Truck Series used this procedure at Daytona. Sprint Cup didn't use the new procedure at Daytona due to the unique/somewhat complicated qualifying session/races there. The thought is that nobody would have an advantage in track conditions.(2-19-2008)

  • Go or Go Home Drivers to Qualify Together; NASCAR to Provide Tires for Tests: Michael Waltrip suggested last season that drivers outside the top 35 in owners' points should be allowed to qualify together so nobody would have an advantage in track conditions. NASCAR officials must have listened. The governing body kicked off its annual media tour by announcing that those outside the top 35 in all three series -- Sprint Cup, Nationwide Series and Craftsman Truck Series -- will qualify at the end of their respective session. It also was announced that teams will be provided tires for testing at non-sanctioned NASCAR tests. Sprint Cup teams will be given 200 tires, Nationwide teams 160 and Craftsman Truck Series teams 120.(ESPN.com)(1-21-2008)

  • NASCAR considering separate qualifying sessions in 2008: Sprint Cup Series Director John Darby said Nov. 9 [2007] that the sanctioning body is still studying the possibility of having teams outside the top 35 in owner points qualify as a group, but that a final decision has not been made. Teams outside the top 35 must qualify each week based on their qualifying speed, while teams inside the top 35 are locked into the field. Because qualifying sessions often last more than two hours, track conditions can change dramatically during a single session. Some team owners have said that having drivers not guaranteed a starting spot make their qualifying attempts at about the same time - rather than based on their qualifying draw - would make the session more fair. "Right now, it's something that we've looked at and continue to look at," Darby said. "But any time you make a change, you have to look at how it affects everything. It's not as simple as just saying, 'Yeah, that would be better. It may make sense for one group, but it might not for another. You've got to take into consideration when you would have those teams make their qualifying attempts - are they the first ones on the track, or the last? There are a lot of things that would be affected by a move like that." Owner points for the first five races of each season are based on the final owner points of the previous year, meaning those teams are guaranteed starting spots for the first five races. Beginning with the sixth race, the current owner points are used.(SceneDaily.com)(11-15-2007)

  • Qualifying changes as soon as New Hampshire? UPDATE denied by NASCAR: NASCAR will make changes to the Sprint Cup qualifying format sooner rather than later. A source within NASCAR confirmed that they would indeed change the way teams qualify for Sprint Cup races, and the changes will take place this season instead of next. Currently, all race entries are placed in to a "lottery type" format to decide qualifying order and all entries must qualify against one another. But, not for long. Beginning with the first Chase race at New Hampshire, teams inside the top 35 in owner points will qualify separately from teams outside of the Top 35. Teams inside the Top 35 will qualify first with teams outside of the Top 35 qualifying later in the day. In the event of a rain out after Top 35 qualifying is over, the remaining eight spots will be decided by owner points and past champion's provisional's. If qualifying is completely rained out, NASCAR will still revert back to owner points.(Captain Thunder Racing)(8-14-2007)
    UPDATE: NASCAR Tuesday denied an Internet report that a new qualifying format would be announced this season. According to the report on an Internet fan site, the fan said an 'inside source' at NASCAR told them that the sanctioning body would be announcing a new qualifying format as soon as the New Hampshire race in September. While NASCAR has made no secret of the fact that they are exploring possible changes in the qualifying format, NASCAR spokesperson Ramsey Poston denied that an announcement would be made this year.(Cup Scene Daily)(8-14-2007)

  • Non Top-35 teams to qualify together? soon? UPDATE: All year long, teams outside the Top 35 in Sprint Cup owner points have complained about the difficulties they face in making the weekly starting lineup. Now, it looks like their voices are being heard. Sources tell Frontstretch.com that the NASCAR is preparing to make changes to its qualifying procedure by the end of August, setting up a system in which all teams ranked outside the Top 35 qualify together. Eliminating the advantage of the qualifying order, all teams not "locked in" to the field would make their attempts back-to-back at either the beginning or end of the session. The overall starting order would still be determined the same way it is now, but for teams in position to make the field on speed, the differences in track temperature and weather would now be minimized, leveling a playing field that can often be tilted towards certain teams due to qualifying draw. Currently, only eight spots ]actaully 7 with the 43rd going to a past champ if needed, THEN filled by the 8th fastest, that iw why they always start 43rd] are available in the 43-car field to teams not "locked in" to the Top 35, with twelve full-time teams attempting to secure one of those coveted positions each week. As for the Top 35 rule's future, there is no official word from NASCAR that changes are forthcoming next year [2008]...but sources say teams have been told to prepare for a possible adjustment in 2008, despite John Darby's public statements to the contrary.(Frontstretch Newsletter)(8-1-2007)
    UPDATE: NASCAR is considering changes to its top-35 qualifying format but isn't likely to reduce the number of teams with guaranteed starting spots each week. "It's something we want to resolve shortly so everybody knows what they're up against for next year," NASCAR president Mike Helton said. Any change is likely to be announced before the end of the month but not in time to affect Sunday's Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono Raceway. The top 35 in the owners' points standings are assured of being in the 43-car field each race no matter how they qualify. On a typical weekend, that leaves 12-15 teams scrambling for eight starting spots. The most likely change is to have the teams outside the top 35 qualify in a group, either at the beginning or end of the regular session. That would eliminate luck of the draw as a major factor in determining who gets into the race. The teams that have to qualify on speed all would face similar track and weather conditions. "That idea has more merit to it than reducing the number to 25 or 20 or some of the other things we've heard," Helton said. "There's a lot of options out there, but I'm not sure there's a lot of energy to change (35 as the cutoff) at this point."(Indianapolis Star)(8-3-2007)

  • Changes to Top-35 Rule Analyzed: Amid growing unrest among team owners on the wrong side of NASCAR's rule guaranteeing the top 35 teams spots in each Sprint Cup field, a Charlotte Observer analysis of several potential alterations leads to the same conclusion. In the first 10 races this season, traditional qualifying was held eight times. The exceptions were the Daytona 500, which has its own procedure, and at Texas, where qualifying was rained out. For the eight races in which traditional qualifying was held, 8.1% of the cars making the fields would have changed if NASCAR had allowed in the fastest 43. Only 7.6% would have differed if the top 12 teams were exempt, and it would've been only 6.4% if the top 25 were exempt. If NASCAR were using its old format, with 36 cars qualifying on speed and seven provisionals, there would have been a 3.5% difference. If the rules had been different early this year, #55-Michael Waltrip would have had the most to gain under virtually any scenario. He missed all eight races analyzed would have made five of those with no exemptions, 12 exemptions or 25 exemptions. At the same time, those tweaks would have knocked Kyle Petty and Robby Gordon out of as many as four races they made, depending on which change had been employed.(Charlotte Observer)(7-23-2007)

  • Modifications Possible to Top-35 Qualifying Rule: Sprint Cup director John Darby -- saying he was speaking for himself, not NASCAR -- didn't mince words Friday when asked about speculated changes to NASCAR's Top-35 rule. "We ain't changing it," Darby said. That doesn't mean, however, that NASCAR isn't contemplating some alterations to the current rule. One possibility is grouping "go or go home" cars together during the qualifying session, so all are faced with similar track conditions during their laps. Darby likes that idea. "We're talking about that a lot," he said. "It makes it truly a head-to-head competition that way." Where would they be grouped? One possibility, according to Darby: Let the championship driver or crew chief decide where in the session that respective group would qualify.(ESPN.com)(7-14-2007)

  • Top-35 rule could be changed: NASCAR is considering changing the number of teams locked into each Sprint Cup race by virtue of owner points, an official source within the sanctioning body confirmed to SPEEDTV.com Saturday at Daytona International Speedway. Currently, the top 35 teams in NASCAR Sprint Cup owner points are guaranteed starting spots at each race, regardless of where they actually qualify in the field. Teams outside the top 35 must attempt to qualify for the remaining eight spots in each Cup event. When NASCAR first adopted the system of locking in the top 35 in owner points, it was when car counts were low at Cup races. The rationale of guaranteeing starting spots was to protect small, independent teams who showed up every week, but usually were not among the fastest in the field. With the advent of a host of new teams in 2007, including five from Toyota's new Sprint Cup effort, fields have swelled this year, resulting in many fully sponsored teams going home on a weekly basis. That may be about to change, the NASCAR official confirmed in an exclusive interview with SPEEDTV.com. "We've had ongoing discussions about changing the number of teams we lock in," said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. The end result could be that the number of guaranteed starters would be reduced from 35 to perhaps 30 or 25. The NASCAR official stressed that no decision had been made yet, but the matter will continue to be a front-burner topic for the sanctioning body.(SPEEDtv.com)(7-7-2007)

  • LMS Prez suggests putting more than one car on track during qualifying: Lowe's Motor Speedway president Humpy Wheeler is calling for NASCAR to add greater entertainment value to its qualifying format by placing more than one car on the racetrack at once. Wheeler told ESPN.com Saturday that attendance for LMS pole day has steadily declined since 2001, and anticipates NASCAR will make some sort of alteration for 2008. "It needs more drama," Wheeler said. "I understand why they do it, but the fact that you've already got 35 people [guaranteed] qualified takes a lot of that [drama] out. I think [NASCAR realizes] something needs to be done. It remains to be seen what, but I think something will be done next year." Wheeler is alluding to NASCAR's Top-35 rule, which guarantees a starting position in each race to every car ranked among the top-35 in car owner points. Therefore, even if they're slower than some other cars attempting to qualify they still make the show. NASCAR officials are aware of this concern, and said they will evaluate qualifying procedures following the season. But he thinks the best option is placing multiple cars on the track at once. He said he's thrown out ideas to NASCAR "for a couple years." One of which, he said, is to host four, 15-minute sessions, each including 25 percent of the cars in the field. Whoever is fastest overall wins the pole.(ESPN.com)(5-27-2007)

  • NASCAR considering tweaking qualifying: NASCAR is considering changing its qualifying procedures in response to complaints about the restrictive system. With at least 50 drivers vying for 43 spots in the field, seven or more cars fail to make the race each week. Because NASCAR assures a spot to the top 35 drivers in points, only eight positions are actually up for grabs. The policy has crippled several drivers this season, particularly #55-Michael Waltrip, who missed his eighth consecutive race Sunday. Waltrip spent the past week lobbying for a variety of changes that could help him get into the field. NASCAR is apparently listening. "We're looking at a lot of different scenarios," competition director Robin Pemberton said. "There's things that we're looking at and we're listening to the competitors. If we were to make a change we'd have to put our own twist on it, to make it fair for all competitors."(Alabama Live)(4-30-2007)

  • Past Champions Limited To 6 Provisional Berths in Cup: NASCAR announced today an update to the past champion's provisional rule in the Sprint Cup Series for 2007. Beginning this season, a past champion's provisional may be used by an eligible driver a maximum of six times over the course of the season. In addition, a team with a past champion eligible driver may only use this provisional a maximum of six times during a season. Previously, there was no limit on usage of the past champion's provisional over the course of the 36-race season. The provisional gives the eligible driver the 43rd and final starting position in the race field. "As NASCAR seeks to place more emphasis on competition, we have decided the time is right to limit the number of provisionals allowed," said NASCAR Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton. "We believe this revision brings the provisional policy in line with the continued growth of the sport."(NASCAR PR)(1-31-2007)

  • Past Champ Provisional rules to stay the same UPDATE 2 limited at 6? NASCAR sources indicated that the sanctioning body would not alter its past championship provisional rule for the Sprint Cup Series in 2007. For two decades, NASCAR has allotted a spot in the race -- if needed -- for Cup champions that otherwise failed to qualify for the field. NASCAR's decision to leave the rule alone is significant for Dale Jarrett, who is the only full-time former champion without a guaranteed starting spot in 2007. Jarrett is driving for Michael Waltrip Racing's brand-new #44 Toyota, which enters the season without any owner points. NASCAR awards guaranteed starting spots to the top-35 teams in the owner standings from 2006. Because every former champion from 2000 to 2006 finished in the top 35, the past championship provisional will be available to Jarrett, who won the Cup title in 1999. There is a good possibility Jarrett will not need to use his past championship provisional in many races. Because he is essentially guaranteed a starting spot in the first five races, his chances of remaining in the top 35 in 2007 owner standings are high. If Jarrett is in the top 35 in owner points after the season's fifth race, the past championship provisional is available to Bill Elliott [he could also use the provisional spot if Jarrett qualifies for the races in the first 5], who won the title in 1988. Elliott is the only active former champion -- besides Jarrett -- without a guaranteed starting spot. Beginning with the sixth race of the season, NASCAR awards guaranteed starting spots to the teams in the top 35 in points. NASCAR considered altering the rule for 2007 but opted to leave it alone. The past championship provisional rule is different in the Busch Series -- a past championship provisional can only be used once every eight races.(NASCAR.com)(1-22-2007)
    UPDATE: NASCAR officials say the past champion's provisional will be altered in 2007. That's news to past champion #44-Dale Jarrett, who on Monday night said he had not been told of any changes to the program. Jarrett could end up needing a past champion's provisional because his new #44 team lacks owner points. Since he moved to the new Michael Waltrip Racing team to start this season, Jarrett has no points for the first five races. He must qualify for each of those based on speed - or by using the past champion's provisional. The driver, who won the 1999 Cup championship, would be locked into the final position in the field if he failed to post a fast enough time to make the race. Jarrett said that he understood the concerns surrounding possible abuse of the provisional system, but that those weren't applicable in his case. NASCAR officials said Tuesday that the change would not be in the rule book, but would appear on entry blanks sent out prior to each race. Vice President Steve O'Donnell said that limiting use of the provision to six races per year was what the sanctioning body had been looking into. "That is still being talked about. I think what we're looking at is six for the driver and owner," he said during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Media Tour hosted by Lowe's Motor Speedway. "The one change [from the Nationwide Series] is maybe that you can use six concurrently. ...That's what it looks like it's going to be."(SceneDaily.com)(1-23-2007)
    UPDATE 2: NASCAR plans to announce before next month's Daytona 500 a cap on the number of provisionals a former champion can use in a season, vice president of competition Robin Pemberton said on Tuesday. That number likely will fall around six, sources said.(David Newton/ESPN.com)(1-24-2007)

  • 43 requirement...a myth: NASCAR chief operating officer George Pyne denies that NASCAR recruited drivers to race at Rockingham, where several field fillers completed the advertised 43-car field. Pyne says it's a myth that the TV contracts require 43 drivers to be in a Cup race. "I asked the question point blank to our group, and they reported that we're not recruiting people to show up," Pyne says. "That's my understanding." Pyne says decreasing the field in the future is not out of the question.(Yahoo Sports/Sporting News)(3-1-2004)


    2013 Qualifying Rules and Notes

    • How to break a tie during qualifying? (same speed/time) When drivers are tied for a starting spot during qualifying, it is broken by owners points standings(not drivers).

    • New NASCAR Sprint Cup Road-Course Qualifying Procedure Announced: NASCAR announced that the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will implement the group-based road course qualifying procedure used in NASCAR Nationwide and NASCAR Touring Series competition during its road-course events at Sonoma Raceway and Watkins Glen International. Under the new procedure, cars will qualify in groups instead of the traditional single-car qualifying runs held on oval race tracks. "The change will add an exciting element to road-course qualifying," said Robin Pemberton, NASCAR vice president of competition. "Fans will be treated to new strategy and increased competition with several cars on track at once."

      The new qualifying rules for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at road courses are as follows:
      Cars attempting to qualify will be divided into groups. The number of groups, and amount of cars in each, will depend on the number of cars that practice for the event.
      Group assignments will be based on final practice times.
      Each qualifying group will be on-track for a set period of time, determined by the Series Director.
      A car's best lap time during the group session will be the qualifying lap time of record.
      A group's time begins when the first car receives the green flag at the start/finish line.

      "This is going to be a terrific new format for our NASCAR weekend," said Steve Page, president and general manager of Sonoma Raceway. "It will intensify the action, with multiple cars on the track at the same time. It's a very positive development for our fans."
      "The new format of qualifying at Watkins Glen International enhances the fan experience which is our top priority," said Michael Printup, president of Watkins Glen. "Qualifying on Saturday for our Cheez-ItTM 355 at The Glen is even more of a not-to-be missed aspect of a weekend of high-quality racing."
      The new format will debut with the Toyota Save-Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway on June 23 and will return at Watkins Glen for the Cheez-It 355 at the Glen on August 11.(NASCAR)(4-22-2013)

    • NASCAR Sprint Cup Series qualifying rules for 2013: (except Daytona 500)
      1) Starting positions 1 through 36 determined by the fastest qualifying speeds in descending order with the fast qualifier being first.
      2) Starting positions 37 through 42) will be provisional starting positions that were not among the fastest 36 from qualifying. Provisional starting positions will be assigned to the highest ranked NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship car owners who are present at the Event and have entered the Event by the entry deadline and will be assigned in descending order until the six (6) provisional spots are filled.
      3) If positions 37 - 42 are not filled by eligible car owners, the remaining positions will be assigned to car owners based on qualifying results.
      NOTE: Once provisional starting positions have been assigned, the cars will be placed in the starting lineup by their qualifying speed in descending order with the fastest qualifying speed starting thirty-seventh.
      4) If after starting positions 1 through 42 are assigned and there remains a car owner whose driver is the current or a former NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion who participated as a driver in the previous NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season and who was entered in the Event for that owner in that car prior to the entry deadline, a 43rd provisional starting position, the "Champion's Provisional", will be assigned to that car owner. The most recent NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion driver not previously qualifying for positions 1 through 42 will be assigned the position. 5) If the 43rd provisional starting position is not filled by an eligible NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion, it will be assigned to the next highest ranked car owner based on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship car owner points.
      6) If any starting positions remain unfilled, they will be assigned according to current calendar year NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship car owner point standings.
      7) If any starting positions remain unfilled, they will be assigned to the car owners who have made the greatest number of qualifying attempts during the current season.
      8) If any starting positions remain unfilled, they will be assigned to cars in order (1,2,3...etc.) in which their numbers were selected in the qualifying draw.
      NOTE: Until the completion of three races of the current NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season, the final previous season NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship car owner point standings will be used for determining the starting positions for the highest ranked car owners as described above.

    • If practice is held but qualifying canceled:
      If the first practice is run, but qualifying is unable to take place and is canceled, the procedure for how teams are chosen to fill the field:
      1) Top 36 in owners points.
      2) Past Series Champions not in the top 36 of owners points.
      3) Rrace attempts, ties broken by owners points rank.
      The starting order is then set by 1st practice speed.
      If two or more teams have no attempts, the team highest in qualifying draw gets in the race.
      Provionals are not used and not charged to past series champions.

    • If practices AND qualifying are cancelled [rain, etc], the following procedure is used:
      1) For the first three races of the current season the top 36 teams in the previous season owner points would make the race [team doesn't have to had run all the races in that season]. After the first three races of the current season, the top 36 teams in the current season owners points, would make the race.
      2) Then any winning driver or team owner from 2012 or 2013, as well as any past champions, make the field.
      3) Then, for the first three races of the current season, any of the top 36 teams in owner points for this year would make the field.
      4) Then it goes to qualifying attempts this year, with ties broken by owner points.


    • New qualifying format should pump excitement into Duels: Even at first glance, it's obvious that changes to NASCAR Sprint Cup Series qualifying format will add two important aspects to the process -- opportunity and suspense. Nowhere will that be more in evidence than at Daytona International Speedway, where Cup teams will begin preparation for the Feb. 24 season-opening Daytona 500 this weekend. The scrapping of the top-35 rule, which guaranteed starting spots in every Cup race to the top 35 cars in the owner standings, by definition broadens the opportunity to make the field. In the case of Daytona, it also injects a level of suspense and excitement into the Budweiser Duel 150 qualifying races that's been minimized in the era of the top-35 rule.
      For every Cup race this season, the 36 fastest cars will make the field. Rather than, say, 13 go-or-go-homers (non-exempt cars) competing for a maximum of eight starting spots, every team that takes to the track knows one thing. If you're among the 36 fastest, you're in the race. Period. The next six positions -- provisional starting spots -- go to the top six cars in owner points that haven't qualified on speed. The 43rd position is reserved for a past champion not other qualified, provided he participated in the Cup series during the previous season. If there's no past champion to fill the final spot, it goes to the seventh car in the owners' standings not otherwise qualified.
      For the Daytona 500 and its unique qualifying format, here's what to watch: As in the past, the front row will be locked in on pole day, Sunday, Feb. 17. After time trials, the starting positions of the fastest two cars will be set, on the pole and on the outside of the front row. The pole winner will lead odd-numbered qualifiers (positions 3, 5, 7, etc.) to the green flag in the first Duel on Feb. 21. The second-place car in time trials will pace the even-number qualifiers in the second Duel.
      The top six qualifiers on Sunday are locked into the race on speed no matter what, but the starting position of the third-through-sixth-place qualifiers won't be determined until the Duels are run. For the past eight seasons, with 35 cars locked in before they ever got to the race track, the functional purpose of the Duels was to set the starting order and to determine which two back markers from each race would ride shotgun on the field at the start of the Daytona 500. This year, things have changed -- dramatically. The Duels will now determine not only the starting positions of the first 32 cars but also who actually makes the race. Finish in the top 15 in your Duel, and you're in the Daytona 500 -- simple as that.
      Positions 33-36 are filled by the four fastest cars from time trials that 1) aren't on the front row and 2) don't transfer from the Duels. Positions 37-42 go to the top six cars in owner points not otherwise qualified. The final spot goes to a past champion or a seventh provisional starter, as with the general procedure for all races. If the new format multiplies the suspense of the Duels from a fan's standpoint, it also will lead to some white knuckles inside the race cars. A major wreck in one of the Duels, one that involves a number of top drivers, could create havoc with the starting field.(NASCAR Wire)(2-12-2013)

    • Rule changes for 2013: NASCAR officials went over many of the new rules and policies for 2013 during a meeting with the media on Thursday. Past champion's issue was among those discussed. Past Sprint Cup champions can use a past champion's provisional only once every six races this season instead of having unlimited access to provisionals as in the past. Provisional starting spots are available to drivers who don't make the field on speed under NASCAR's new qualifying rules. Any past champion who ran at least one race the previous season starts the year with one provisional starting spot. Once a driver uses it, they must make six attempts to qualify before getting another past champion's provisional - the driver would get use of the provisional at that sixth race.
      NASCAR has changed the qualifying rules for Sprint Cup in 2013. Instead of the top 35 teams being locked into a race, only seven drivers will enter a race with a guaranteed a spot.
      The first 36 spots will be based on qualifying speed, then six spots go to non-qualifiers based on owner points, then positions set by qualifying speed, fastest to slowest. The final spot goes to a past champion. If there's no past champion, the final spot goes to the next driver based on owner points.
      The change is only for Cup and not for the Nationwide or Camping World Truck Series. Those series have impound races and NASCAR did not want teams to feel they needed to run a qualifying setup to get into the race and then try to make race-setup adjustments on pit stops, NASCAR Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton said Thursday.
      The Nationwide Series, which has cut its fields from 43 to 40 cars, will lock in the top 30 in owner points while the Camping World Truck Series will lock in the top 25 in owner points.
      Among other new race weekend procedures for 2013:
      " The qualifying order will be determined by random draw for Cup, while the qualifying order for Nationwide and truck will be the driver's best speed from all practice sessions, slowest to fastest.
      " For all three series, the current year's owner points will be used starting with the fourth race of the season.
      " For the Sprint Unlimited, the vote taken by fans at the track that day for the starting order will have three options. Those options have changed since the original announcement last month. The new options are career wins, 2012 driver points or pole speed that got them in the race.
      " Gas men will not be able to make any adjustments to the car while fuel is going into the car. They can only make adjustments after the fuel can is disengaged from the gas intake. Several times last season, gas cans either remained attached to the cars or fell off the cars as the cars sped away.
      (Sporting News)(2-9-2013)

    • NASCAR announces qualifying & testing changes for 2013: UPDATE: NASCAR announced a number of competition changes for the 2013 season, highlighted by a new qualifying format in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series that places a greater emphasis on speed.
      Qualifying Format In The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
      In NASCAR Sprint Cup competition, the series will move to a 36-6-1 format where the fastest 36 cars will make the race on speed. The next six highest ranking cars in owners points that have not already earned a starting position through qualifying and who have entered the event by the posted entry deadline will also make the field. The final starting position will be awarded to the most recent eligible past champion driver. If there is no eligible past champion driver, then a seventh car will make the field based upon owners' points. Provisional positions in the 36-6-1 format will be lined up by owners' points, not speed.
      In 2013, the qualifying order for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events will return to a random draw. However, in the event qualifying is canceled due to rain, the field will be set per the rule book and the starting lineup will continue to be determined by practice speeds.
      Additionally, provisional positions in the NASCAR Sprint Cup, NASCAR Nationwide and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will be based upon the previous year's owner points for the first three races, as opposed to the first five races in previous years for the NASCAR Sprint Cup and the NASCAR Nationwide Series, and four races for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
      UPDATE: There will be no limit to the number of provisionals. NASCAR did not consider heavily just having the best 43 cars in qualifying start a race. "We felt like there always needed to be some sort of opportunity for a guy that has a bad day and points are worth something to make the field," [NASCAR vice president of competition Robin ] Pemberton said in a phone interview. As far as how NASCAR will set the field for the Daytona 500, it will do it much like it had before the top-35 rule was put into effect. Qualifying speeds will determine the front row, then the 150-mile qualifying races will set the majority of the spots with the remainder of the field set by qualifying speed (among those remaining) and provisionals. "The final details will come out with the entry blank," Pemberton said during a teleconference. "But there will be a speed element that's in there along with a finishing order to the (qualifying races) that will be in there. Those final details haven't been worked out. But basically it all wraps around it being the fastest cars and also the ones that perform in the (qualifying races) to set the 500 lineup."(Sporting News)(10-17-2012)


      Past Qualifying Rules and Notes

      • 2012 Qualifying Rules:
        Each team must send a representative for a random drawing in case final round of qualifying is determined to be incomplete by NASCAR due to weather or other adverse circumstances. This drawing will be made at a time specified on the Schedule of Events on the Official Entry Blank. If the car is not in the Garage area at the time of the drawing, only the driver may draw. If the car is in the Garage area at the time of the drawing, a designated member of the crew may draw. If the driver or car owner or designated member of crew is not present at the time of the drawing, a NASCAR Official will draw for the team.

        The fastest lap of the first practice session, preceding scheduled qualifying, determines qualifying order. Qualifying order for all cars will be an inversion of the first practice session lap times (slowest to fastest). Unless otherwise authorized by the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Director, cars will qualify in the order of the inverted practice speeds. Cars will be released in selected increments until all cars have had an opportunity to attempt qualifying. Unless otherwise authorized by the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Director, adjustments or repairs may not be made to the car after the car has taken the green flag at the start/finish line.

        Qualifying consists of two consecutive timed laps (road coruses is 1 lap)). The fastest lap determines qualifying position. NASCAR reserves the right to have more than one car engage in qualifying runs at the same time. (Starting field limited to 43 starters as defined in the Starting Positions Procedure.)

        Note: All cars must qualify with the fuel cell full of fuel.

        If scheduled and/or rescheduled qualifying is not completed due to adverse conditions, starting positions will be determined per Section 9-5 of the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Rule Book.

        NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Starting Positions Procedure: The following will be the procedure for determining eligibility for and assigning of starting positions for this 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Event, providing all entrants have had an opportunity to qualify (what constitutes an opportunity shall be at the discretion of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Director).

        The order of starting positions one (1) through forty-two (42) will be determined by qualifying speed. Car owners in the highest ranked thirty-five (35) positions of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship car owner point standings that are present at the Event and have entered the Event prior to the entry deadline will be assigned one (1) of the forty-two (42) starting positions, provided they have made an attempt to qualify (what constitutes an attempt to qualify shall be at the discretion of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Director). The remaining seven (7) positions of the forty-two (42) will be assigned to the car owners that posted the fastest qualifying speeds that are not in the highest ranked thirty-five (35) positions of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship car owner point standings as described above.

        Until the completion of five (5) Events of the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season, the final 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship car owner point standings will be used for determining the starting positions for the highest ranked thirty-five (35) positions as described above.

        After the fifth (5th) completed Event, and until the completion of the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season, the current 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship car owner point standings will be used for determining the starting positions for the highest ranked thirty-five (35) positions as described above. If after starting positions 1 through 42 are assigned and there remains a car owner whose driver is the current or a former NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion who participated as a driver in the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and who was entered in the Event for that owner in that car prior to the entry deadline, a 43rd provisional starting position, the "Champion's Provisional", will be assigned to that car owner. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car owners are eligible for a maximum of six (6) "Champion's Provisional" opportunities during the current season, regardless of the Champion driver. The most recent NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion driver not previously qualifying for positions 1 through 42 will be assigned the "Champion's Provisional" starting position if the car owner is eligible. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion's will be eligible for a maximum of six (6) "Champion's Provisional" opportunities during the current season. If the 43rd provisional starting position is not filled by an eligible NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion, it will be assigned to the next eligible car owner according to qualifying results.

        If any starting positions remain unfilled, they will be assigned according to current calendar year NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship car owner point standings. In case of a tie, ties will be broken as set forth in the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Rule Book, sub-section 17-4, C-1.

        If any starting positions remain unfilled, they will be assigned to the car owners who have made the greatest number of qualifying attempts during the current season. If two (2) or more car owners have accumulated the same number of qualifying attempts, the positions will be filled in order of current calendar year car owner point standings. In case of a tie, ties will be broken as set forth in the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Rule Book, sub-section 17-4, C-1.

        If any starting positions remain unfilled, they will be assigned to cars in order (1,2,3...etc.) in which their numbers were selected in the random qualifying draw for this Event.

        In the event conditions prevent time trials, starting positions will be assigned according to the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Rule Book.

      • Determining Race Line-Ups - Top 35 Guarantee: At the start of the 2005 season, NASCAR instituted a new procedure for establishing the starting race field in the Sprint Cup Series [NSCS]. NASCAR revamped the system by simplifying the procedure with teams no longer accruing provisionals throughout the season to gain entry into the starting fields. While starting positions one through 42 in the NSCS still will be determined by qualifying speed, the new system will assure the highest-ranked 35 positions of the NSCS OWNER [not Driver] championship points that have entered the event prior to the entry deadline [usually 13 days before the day of the race] one of those starting positions in the field, providing they have made an attempt to qualify [which usually means the team at least practiced and made an effort to qualify].
        The remaining seven positions [36-42] will be assigned to those drivers with the fastest qualifying speeds whose car owners are not among the top 35. The final starting position [43rd] - the champion's provisional - can be utilized by a car owner whose driver is a current or past Sprint Cup champion who participated as a driver during the current of previous season and was entered in the event for that owner in that car prior to the entry deadline.
        If there is more than one series champion vying for the position, it will be given to the most recent series champion. If the final provisional starting position - 43rd in the Sprint Cup - is not filled by a current or past series champion, it will be assigned to the next eligible car owner according to qualifying results.
        Through the first five races of the season for the Sprint Cup, the top 35 in the NSCS of the previous owner championship points entered in the event prior to the entry deadline will be assured one of the 42 starting positions in the field, provided they have made an attempt to qualify. From the sixth race on, the current owner championship points will be used to determine the top 35 each race week. In the event that conditions prevent qualifying from being run, starting positions will be assigned according to the respective series' current Rule Book.(NASCAR PR)
        Simple: so the field is set by speed to with the 7th fastest non-top 35 driver is on speed. The any drivers in the top 35 of OWNERS [not drivers points] are placed to the 42nd spot. The 43rd spot is used for the most recent past Cup champion NOT already in the field from being in the top-35 in owners points or one of the seven no top-35. If their is not past champ for the 43rd spot, it goes to the next fastest [8th fastest driver]

      • Another new twist to the qualifying format: Starting this weekend at Kentucky Speedway, there will be a rain-out qualifying procedure change for all three NASCAR national series. If first practice is run, but qualifying is unable to take place, the starting lineup will be based on speeds from the car's fastest lap from the first practice, with top-35 cars in owner points no longer segregated from the non-top 35 cars. Previously, the top 35 cars lined up in front of all other eligible car owners.(NASCAR)(7-7-2011)

      • 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup qualifying procedures:
        1) qualifying order will be determined by the driver's fastest lap in first practice.
        2) times on the speed sheet will be inverted with the slowest cars attempting their qualifying runs first
        3) go-or-go-home cars will now qualify among the 35 teams locked in on owner points and not be separated by the field. 4) the NASCAR Sprint Cup director does reserve the right to change a driver's qualifying order or allow "adjustments or repairs" to cars after the car has taken the green flag at the start/finish line.
        5) all cars must qualify with a full fuel cell.
        6) Qualifying consists of two consecutive timed laps
        7) the fastest lap determines qualifying position
        8) in case of a rain-out of practice, a random drawing will be held for cars set up in the garage area to determine qualifying
        9) if qualifying is rained out, the order of the field will be set according to Section 9-5 of the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup rule book.

      • What happens if qualifying is cancelled?
        After the 5th race of the season, the current season OWNERS points are used:
        #1) - First 35 by current Owner Points [team does not have to attempt all the races]
        #1a) - the first 35 are then set by the first practice speeds
        #2) - Last Years Cup Champ or the Event Champion if not already in the field
        #3) - Car Owners whose team has won in the previous and current season not already in the field
        #4) - Drivers who have won in the previous and current season not already in the field
        #5) - Past Sprint Cup Champions not in by 1 thru 4
        #6) - Qualifying Attempts with Owners points as the tie breaker
        #6a) - then set by first practice speeds
        #7) - NASCAR will hold a draw for teams with no owners points / attempts
        (all above apply as long as the team was entered by the entry deadline - usually 7-13 days before the race)

      • What happens if qualifying and all practices are cancelled? [rules book]
        If it is the first five races of the season, the previous season OWNERS points are used:

        #1) - Previous season Owner Points [position 1-35][top 35 teams do NOT need to attempt ALL the races]
        #2) - Race winners from the previous and current season not already in the field
        #3) - ALL Past Cup Champions not in by 1 or 2
        #4) - Current season Owner Points [Top 35][not in by rules 1-3]
        #5) - Current season race attempts ties broken by current owners points standings [not in by rules 1-4]

        After the 5th race of the season, the current season OWNERS points are used:
        #1) - First 35 by current Owner Points [position 1-35][top 35 teams do NOT need to attempt ALL the races]
        #2) - Last Years Cup Champ or the Event Champion if not already in the field
        #3) - Car Owners whose team has won in the previous and current season not already in the field
        #4) - Drivers who have won in the previous and current season not already in the field
        #5) - ALL Past Cup Champions not in by 1 thru 4 [is NOT charged against the 6 past champ provisionals]
        #6) - Most Qualifying Attempts [not starts] with Owners points as the tie breaker
        #7) - Qualifying Order Position
        (all above apply as long as the team was entered by the entry deadline - usually 7-13 days before the race)

      • NASCAR changing Cup qualifying procedures - starts Pocono, June 2011: NASCAR is changing its NASCAR Sprint Cup qualifying rules effective next week at Pocono Raceway .... qualifying order will be determined by the driver's fastest lap in first practice. The times on the speed sheet will be inverted with the slowest cars attempting their qualifying runs first. The go-or-go-home cars will now qualify among the 35 teams locked in on owner points and not be separated by the field. The NASCAR Sprint Cup director does reserve the right to change a driver's qualifying order or allow "adjustments or repairs" to cars after the car has taken the green flag at the start/finish line. And all cars must qualify with a full fuel cell. According to the NASCAR bulletin: "Qualifying consists of two consecutive timed laps (EIRI). The fastest lap determines qualifying position. NASCAR reserves the right to have more than one car engage in qualifying runs at the same time. Cars will be released in selected increments until all cars have had an opportunity to attempt qualifying." EIRI stands for "except in rare instances." In case of a rain-out of practice, a random drawing will be held for cars set up in the garage area to determine qualifying. If qualifying is rained out, the order of the field will be set according to Section 9-5 of the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup rule book. According to the rule book "all available starting positions will first be assigned to those car owners who have entered in the event prior to the drawing deadline. All available starting positions will be assigned including those starting positions previously designated as provisional starting positions on the Official Entry Blank. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship points for the event will be assigned to those non-qualifier car owners provided they have entered in the event prior to the entry deadline."(Fox Sports)(6-3-2011)

      • The Qualifying Procedures for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, which started at Phoenix in Feb 2011:
        Qualifying order set by LAST practice speeds, slowest to fastest.
        Non-Top 35 drivers grouped together at end of session.
        Starting grid set by practice speeds if qualifying canceled.
        Starting lineup set by owners points of all practices and qualifying are canceled.

      • New Qualifying Procedure in 2011 - The qualifying order will be set based upon slowest to fastest practice speeds.
        Inclement Weather Qualifying - If bad weather cancels qualifying, the final starting lineup will be determined by practice speeds. The same rule book procedures will be used to determine eligibility to start a race. If weather cancels practice sessions, then the starting lineup will be set by points, per the rule book.(1-26-2011)

      • For the first five races of a season, the top 35 in owners points from the previous year are locked into the Sprint Cup field. Starting with the sixth race, the top 35 teams, based on the current season's owner points, that show up for the event are guaranteed spots, leaving seven spots to be determined by qualifying speed and one spot for a past champion. If there's no past champion, then the final spot also is determined by qualifying speed.

      • Past Champions Limited To 6 Provisional Berths in Cup: NASCAR announced an update to the past champion's provisional rule in the Sprint Cup Series for 2007. A past champion's provisional may be used by an eligible driver a maximum of six times over the course of the season. In addition, a team with a past champion eligible driver may only use this provisional a maximum of six times during a season. Previously, there was no limit on usage of the past champion's provisional over the course of the 36-race season. The provisional gives the eligible driver the 43rd and final starting position in the race field. "As NASCAR seeks to place more emphasis on competition, we have decided the time is right to limit the number of provisional's allowed," said NASCAR Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton. "We believe this revision brings the provisional policy in line with the continued growth of the sport."(NASCAR PR)
        This is only for a team/driver OUTSIDE the top-35 in owners points, drivers whose team is in the top-35 in owners points, would already be guaranteed in the field and not need the Past Champions Provisional. The provisional is not used in the event Qualifying is cancelled and not charged.(1-31-2007)
        See my 2012 Past Champions Provisional Page for more

      • How was qualifying Handled before 2005? see my 2004 Provisional Rules page


      2005-2012 DAYTONA 500 QUALIFYING RULES

      • How To Make The Daytona 500 Field - 2005 - 2012

      • Pole Day: This "locks in" the first two positions - the front row - for the Daytona 500. It also establishes the starting orders for the Gatorade Duel at Daytona, which are two 150-mile qualifying races for the Daytona 500.

        The fastest car earns the pole for the Daytona 500 AND the pole for the first Gatorade Duel race.
        The second-fastest car earns the outside pole for the Daytona 500 AND the pole for the second Gatorade Duel race.
        The Gatorade Duel at Daytona: These two 150-mile qualifying races set positions 3-39 for the Daytona 500.

        A combined total of 66 cars will be allowed into the two Gatorade Duel races.
        Cars must compete in one of the Gatorade Duel races, in order to race in the Daytona 500.
        Odd-number finishers in the final car owner point standings from last season (1st, 3rd, 5th, etc.) are in the first Gatorade Duel race.
        Even-number finishers in the final car owner point standings from last season (2nd, 4th, 6th, etc.) are in the second Gatorade Duel race.
        Additional qualified cars that weren't in the final top 35 in last season's owners points are alternated between the two Gatorade Duel fields using an odd-even format.

      • Setting the Daytona 500 field:
        Cars that finished in the top 35 in last seasons final owner point standings automatically make the Daytona 500 field.
        The top two starting positions are determined by Pole Day qualifying speeds.
        Positions 3-39 are determined by finishing orders in the Gatorade Duel races.
        The final four spots in the 43-car field will be based on Pole Day qualifying speeds of cars that have not already earned a starting position. However, if there is an eligible Sprint Cup Series past champion entered who has not already qualified, that past champion will receive the 43rd and final position. If there is more than one past champion eligible for this berth, it goes to the most recent champion.

        another way to look at it:

        The following cars will be assigned to the first of the two qualifying races:

        The odd-number positions (1st, 3rd, 5th, etc.) of the highest-ranked 35 finishers in the final previous NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car owner points standings.

        The pole winner from Pole Day Qualifying. Should the pole winner be among the highest-ranked 35 in the the previous season owner points, the pole winner will start in the first race regardless of his odd or even position in those standings. The following cars will be assigned to the second of the two qualifying races:

        The even-number positions (2nd, 4th, 6th, etc.) of the highest-ranked 35 finishers in the final previous season NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car owner points standings.

        The second-fastest qualifier from qualifying. Should this car be among the highest-ranked 35 in the previous season owner points, it will start in the second race regardless of its odd or even position in those standings. Additional cars that were not among the highest-ranked 35 in the final previous season car owner points will be alternated between the first and second 150-mile qualifying events using an odd-even format. The odd-number positions will be assigned to the first qualifier while the even-number positions will be assigned to the second qualifier.

        The odd-even positions are not determined by where the car qualified in the overall field, but their specific qualifying order among those cars not part of the highest-ranked 35 group. For example, a car qualifies eighth overall in qualifying, but ranks third-fastest among those cars not part of the highest-ranked 35. That car would be an odd-number position and start in the first race as a result of its qualifying standing of those cars not in the highest-ranked 35.

        The lineup for each qualifying race will be set based upon the qualifying speeds in the time trials for all cars, including those who are among the highest-ranked 35 in the finalprevious season car owner point standings. The highest-ranked 35 designation does not determine the car's starting position, only the assignment of its 150-mile qualifying event.

        A maximum of 66 cars will be permitted to compete between the two qualifying races, and all cars must compete in one of these events to be eligible for the Daytona 500.

        Starting positions for the Daytona 500 will be designated for the highest-ranked 35 positions from the final previous season car owner point standings from each qualifier, the two-highest finishing cars in each qualifier not among that highest-ranked 35 group and the two front-row qualifiers.

        The balance of the 43-car field will be filled by the fastest remaining qualifiers who have not earned a starting position, with the exception of the 43rd position which will be assigned to an eligible former or current Sprint Cup Series champion. Should there not be an eligible champion, the position will be assigned to the next fastest qualifier not in the field.

      • The simple version: how the Daytona 500 lineup is set:

        Pos 1 and 2: Pole sitter and outside pole sitter from qualifying
        [no need to be top 35 in prevoius season car Owners Points]

        Pos 3 thru 39: top 35 in prevoius season car owners points and two highest finishing teams in each Gatorade Duel races race NOT in the top 35 set by their finishing postion in the Gatorade Duel races.

        Pos 40-42: fastest qualifiers not in by above

        Pos 43: past champion provisional - at this point only. Otherwise the spot goes to the next fastest qualifier.

      • The Gatorade Duel races:

        The Daytona 500 pole-sitter will start on the pole of the first Gatorade Duel at Daytona. The outside pole winner will start on the pole of the second qualifying race.

        Cars that finished in odd positions (first, third, fifth, etc.) in owner's points last season will fill the first qualifying race, and those with even-number finishes will compete in the second race. The lineup for each qualifying race will be set based on the qualifying speeds. Owner's points do not determine the car's starting position, only which of the two Duel races in which it will race.

        Cars that were not among the highest-ranked 35 in the previous season will be alternately entered into the two 150-mile qualifying events based on qualifying speeds. The non-top 35 car with the fastest qualifying time is entered into the first (odd) Duel race, the next-fastest in the second (even) race and so on.


      jumps to areas on this page
      2014 Sprint Cup Series Qualifying Rules
      Current Daytona 500 Qualifying Rules
      Qualifying News & Rumors
      2013 Sprint Cup Series Qualifying Rules
      Past Sprint Cup Series Qualifying Rules
      2005-2012 Daytona 500 Qualifying Rules


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