for the first FOUR races of the 2003 season.

Updated 3-7-2003

the fifth race of the 2003 season (Atlanta), is the final race these standing will be used

NOTE: the March 9th race at Atlanta is the LAST race of the 2003 season that will USE
2002 OWNERS Points - see the 2003 Provisional Land Page/Owners Standings for current standings that will be used for the rest of the 2003 season.

The Winston Cup teams provisional status priority
is based on 2002 OWNER points
for the first FOUR 2003 Winston Cup races
REMEMBER, OWNERS and DRIVERS points are NOT the same!!

Provisionals - Who used them at the latest race and who missed the race and why
Provisionals used at Atlanta
(starting place was determined using 2002 OWNERS points standings):

Car# Driver 2002
37 8 Dale Earnhardt Jr 12 1/0
38 45 Kyle Petty 23 1/0
39 5 Terry Labonte 25 2/0
40 23 Kenny Wallace 32 1/1
41 14 Larry Foyt 37 2/1
42 49 Kenny Schrader 41 1/1
43 0 Jack Sprague 52 2/2
* lost an allotted provisional as the team is not in the top 25 in OWNERS points
unless 43 drivers or less attempted to make the race, then none are charged
(see rules below on this).
provisionals Used by Track

The following drivers/teams missed the race at Atlanta
DNQ's - Did Not Qualify Page and DNQ - race by race
(Provisonal/Owners Points standing in parans) ranked by speed in qualifying:

The following team(s) were not high enough in the owners points to use a provisional or fast enough to make the top 36:

(car#, driver,owners standings,speed,owners points awarded)

1) #35-Bobby Hamilton (no 2002 Owners Points), 185.319mph, 31 points
2) #57-Jeff Fultz (62nd), 183.832, 28

Teams that do NOT make the race are awarded OWNERS points, in order of fastest speed.
Unless qualifying is rained out or cancelled. Then the OWNERS get points by race attempts,
ties are then broken by previous OWNERS points


What the heck is a provisional starting spot?

A brief, simple explanation:
Six provisional starting spots are available for positions 37-42. These positions are based on the current NASCAR Winston Cup Series car OWNER points. The 43rd and final starting position is available to any eligible past NASCAR Winston Cup Series champion who fails to make the field through qualifying, starting with the most recent champion. If there are no eligible past champions, the 43rd spot will be filled through current NASCAR Winston Cup Series car OWNER points, with the team highest in the OWNER points, not in the field, getting the spot.

Why does NASCAR use the provisional starting system?

The theory, from what I am told, is that it protects the teams that attempt to make all the races. It allows a team to 'have a bad day' if they fail to qualify for the race or encounter problems.

How many provisionals per race?

There are seven provisional positions and a starting field to 43 cars every race. Six spots are awarded by the use of provisionals based on OWNERS points. The seventh is awarded to a past champion who has not OTHERWISE qualified for the race. If no past champ needs the provisional, the next team in the OWNER points will be awarded a provisional. There is not a Winston West Provisional available for any of the west coast races.

before 1994 not sure how it was handled
1994 - two
1995 - four
1996 - four plus 1 champs(if no champ used it, it went unused)
1997 - four plus 1 champs(if no champ used it, the next team in owners points got it)
1998 - six plus 1 champs(if no champ used it, the next team in owners points got it)
1999 - six plus 1 champs(if no champ used it, the next team in owners points got it)
2000 - six plus 1 champs(if no champ used it, the next team in owners points got it)
2001 - six plus 1 champs(if no champ used it, the next team in owners points got it)
2002 - six plus 1 champs(if no champ used it, the next team in owners points got it)
2003 - six plus 1 champs(if no champ used it, the next team in owners points got it)

How are provisionals awarded?

Teams are awarded a provisional spot based on the teams position in the OWNERS points. OWNERS and DRIVERS points are different. Teams that use more then one driver during a season still generate OWNERS points for the same team/owner.

Teams who have attempted ALL the Cup races get the provisional awarded first, then it goes down the order by attempts, then OWNERS points.

How are provisionals awarded at the beginning of the season?

In 2003 (as in 2002), provisional starting positions 37-42 will be awarded based on OWNERS points. The 43rd spot is awarded to any Past Champion who is not otherwise eligible. If no past champion needs the provisional it falls back to the next un-qualified team in the owners points. The previous season OWNERS point standings will be used through the fourth race at Atlanta. Starting with the fifth race at Darlington the current season OWNER points standings are used to determine provisional starting spots.

New teams start out the season with ZERO provisionals until the fifth race (Darlington in March 2003), UNLESS, the driver is a past WINSTON CUP champion, then the team can use the final provisional spot. The team is deducted a provisional if used in this manner.

How many provisionals are the teams allotted for the season?

Each existing team starts the season with four(4) and earns one more after their eighth (Talladega), 16th (Sonoma), 24th (Bristol) and 32nd (Martinsville) attempted race. So if a team is out of provisionals going into the 8th race and they make a qualifying run, they earn a provisional and can use it in that race if their speed does not get them into the field.
New teams are allotted their provisionals starting at the fifth race of the season, Darlington in March of 2003.

In reality, teams are not really allotted provisionals but are charged one if used, unless they are in the top 25 in OWNERS points. The rule is 'a team can use four charged provisionals starting spots in the first 7 races of the season. If a team is in the top 25, they will not be charged a provisional. So if a team was out of the top 25 in owners points and is charged all four provisionals and then gets into the top 25, that team can still use a provisional spot because it will NOT be charged

Unused provisionals in the previous year are not carried forward to the next season.

How do the OWNERS get points? How do they differ from the DRIVERS points?

All teams, who pass inspection and fail to make the race, get OWNER points based on the fastest non-qualifier to the slowest earn the position/points immediately below the last car in the field. These points will be included with those earned from the races to establish car/owner priority in gaining a provisional for the race. The driver get NO points for making an attempt, this is why OWNERS points and DRIVERS points for the same team will sometimes differ, if a driver misses a race. Points are awarded as follows: fastest who fails to qualify gets 31 points, then it goes in order: 28,25,22,19,16,13,10,7,4,1 - all remaining car owners get 1 point for the team race attempt.

Are there any restrictions using a provisional?

There is no longer a restriction to that a team has to be in Top 40 in OWNER points to be eligible to be awarded a provisional starting spot (this was changed prior to the 1998 season).

If a team is currently in the top 25 in owner points, a provisional start is awarded but a provisional is not charged against the total allowed. Only teams 26th or worse in OWNERS points will be charged a provisional. If a team stays in the top 25 all season, it can use a provisional spot for every race.

What happens if at least 43 cars attempt a race but more then one team is out of provisionals and fails to qualify for the race with still a spot open in the field?

If one or a few of the teams without provisionals fail to get in on speed, then the part time teams (don't attempt all races and are deep in the OWNERS points) get a shot at the provisionals, lining up by Owners Points. If spots are still available, then the teams without provisionals get placed in the field by fastest qualifying speed until all 43 spots are filled

What happens if qualifying gets rained out?

Provisionals are not used in case of rain.
Since 2001:
If it is the first 4 races of the season and the past season OWNERS points are used then:

#1) - first 35 by previous season Owner Points
#2) - Race winners from the previous and current season not already in the field
#3) - Past Winston Cup Champions not in by 1 and 2
#4) - Current season Owner Points
#5) - Previous Season Qualifying Attempts with Owners points as the tie breaker

No more by the postmark on the entry blank or qualifying order

If is past the first four races then:
#1) - First 35 by current Owner Points
#2) - Race winners from the previous and current season not already in the field
#3) - Past Winston Cup Champions not in by 1 and 2
#4) - Qualifying Attempts with Owners points as the tie breaker
(so if one owner has 4 qualifying attempts and one has 3 attempts but has more Owners points the owner with 4 attempts makes the race)

In the Busch series, can a CUP driver use a provisional?

If a Busch Series driver also drives in the Winston Cup Series and is 35th or higher in Cup driver points he cannot take a provisional in the Busch Series. This does not apply to former BGN champs (Dale Earnhardt Jr, Kevin Harvick, David Green, Bobby Labonte, Joe Nemechek, Steve Grissom, etc) or if qualifying gets rained out as no provisionals are used in that case.

to the TOP of this page

what it means is that a driver/owner is not eligible for any points as the race entry blank was received after the deadline
which is 13 days before the race date.

Chart updated 3-5-2003 , based on 2002 OWNERS Points (for the first 4 races of 2003)


Provisional Points


2003 Provisional Status Page
2002 Provisional Status Page
2001 Provisional Status Page
2000 Provisional Status Page
1999 Provisional Status Page
1998 Provisional Status Page

Provisionals Used by Track
DNQ's by Race
Champs Provisional Page
Where'd They Finish

Born on Date: May 1997

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