Nascar Qualifying Procdures

For procedures used previously, see the 2021, 2022, and 2023 Qualifying Procedures pages.

Rule 7.5 – Qualifying Format for Oval Tracks

A. Qualifying will consist of:

  • Two rounds and one timed lap per round at:
    • Charlotte Motor Speedway
    • Darlington Raceway
    • Kansas Speedway
    • Homestead-Miami Speedway
    • Las Vegas Motor Speedway
    • Michigan International Speedway
    • Nashville Superspeedway
    • New Hampshire Motor Speedway
    • Phoenix Raceway
    • Pocono Raceway
    • Texas Motor Speedway
    • World Wide Technology Raceway.
  • Two rounds and two timed laps per round at:
    • Bristol Motor Speedway
    • Dover International Speedway
    • Iowa Speedway
    • Martinsville Speedway
    • Richmond Raceway.

B. NASCAR reserves the right to have more than one vehicle engage in Qualifying runs at the same time.

C. Vehicles will be lined up and released for Qualifying based on their group. Group A vehicles will Qualify first in any round; Group B will qualify second in any round.

D. After Group A completes the first Qualifying round, there will be a two-minute break.

E. Upon completion of Group B’s first Qualifying round, eligibility for the 40 NASCAR Cup Series vehicles will be determined.

F. At the conclusion of the first Qualifying round, there will be a five-minute break.

G. The fastest five eligible vehicles from Group A and the fastest five eligible vehicles from Group B will have their times reset and advance to the second Qualifying round.

H. The remaining eligible vehicles will be assigned starting grid positions 11th-40th based on their fastest speed posted in the first Qualifying round in descending order.

I. Group A vehicles will be released based on their first Qualifying round speeds in ascending order. Group B vehicles will be released based on their first Qualifying round speeds in ascending order.

J. A team representative must be present at the Qualifying vehicle release point when their vehicle is released for a Qualifying attempt. That team representative must scan NASCAR race control and have direct radio communications with the driver during a Qualifying attempt.

K. Unless otherwise authorized by the Series Managing Director, adjustments or repairs may not be made to the vehicle after the vehicle has taken the green flag at the start/finish line.

L. Drivers must leave for their Qualifying attempt when called onto the racetrack.  Any driver not leaving to Qualify when called onto the racetrack may lose their opportunity to Qualify. As determined by NASCAR, drivers encountering a mechanical issue must leave for their Qualifying attempt when the next vehicle in line completes their Qualifying lap or the expiration of one minute. Safety issues will be addressed on a case-by-case basis.

M. Upon completion of a vehicle’s Qualifying attempt, NASCAR may impound the vehicle.

N. Upon completion of Qualifying, eligibility for the 40 NASCAR Cup Series starting grid positions will be determined.

O. If one or both groups are unable to complete the second Qualifying round due to weather or other adverse circumstances, only speeds posed in the first Qualifying round by the top 5 fastest vehicles in each group will be used to determine the starting line-up positions in descending order (fastest to slowest) in positions 1st-10th.


Rule 7.6 – Qualifying Format for Superspeedway Events (Daytona, Talladega, Atlanta)

A. Qualifying will consist of two scheduled rounds, one timed lap per round.

B. NASCAR reserves the right to have more than one vehicle engage in Qualifying runs at the same time.

C. Vehicles will be lined up and released based on Performance Metrics Qualifying.

D. A team representative must be present at the Qualifying vehicle release point when their vehicle is released for a Qualifying attempt. That team representative must scan NASCAR Race Control and have direct radio communications with the driver during a Qualifying attempt.

E. Upon completion of the first Qualifying round, eligibility for the 40 NASCAR Cup Series vehicles will be determined.

F. The 10 eligible vehicles that post the fastest single lap speed will have their posted speed reset.

G. The 10 eligible vehicles will be assigned positions 1st-10th based on their final Qualifying round speeds in descending order.

H. Unless otherwise authorized by the Series Managing Director, adjustments or repairs may not be made to the vehicle after the vehicle has taken the green flag at the start/finish line.

I. Drivers must leave for their Qualifying attempt when called onto the racetrack.  Any driver not leaving to Qualify when called onto the racetrack may lose their opportunity to Qualify. As determined by NASCAR, drivers encountering a mechanical issue must leave for their Qualifying attempt when the next vehicle in line completes their Qualifying lap or the expiration of one minute. Safety issues will be addressed on a case-by-case basis.

J. Upon completion of a vehicle’s Qualifying attempt, NASCAR may impound the vehicle.


Rule 7.7 – Qualifying Format for Road Course Events

A. Qualifying will consist of two scheduled rounds.

B.  The first Qualifying round is 15 minutes in duration for each group, unless otherwise authorized by the Series Managing Director.

C. Upon completion of the first Qualifying round, eligibility for the 40 NASCAR Cup Series starting grid positions will be determined.

D. The fastest five eligible vehicles from Group A and the fastest five eligible vehicles from Group B will have their times reset and advance to the second Qualifying round.

E. The remaining eligible vehicles will be assigned starting grid positions 11th-40th based on their fastest single lap speed posted in the first Qualifying round in descending order.

F. There will be an announced break after the completion of the first Qualifying round and the 10 vehicles that advance to the final Qualifying round will have their posted speed reset.

G. The final Qualifying round is ten minutes in duration and the fastest single lap speed posted in the final Qualifying round will be assigned starting grid positions 1st-10th in descending order.

H. In the event of potential inclement weather conditions, the Series Managing Director will determine prior to the vehicles departing the starting grid for the first Qualifying round:

  • Track surface “dry” or “wet” determinations.
  • Mandated or approved use of “wet” or “dry” condition equipment during Qualifying.

I. Procedures may be modified at the discretion of the Series Managing Director based on track conditions, configurations, or other circumstances.

J. If a red flag occurs during Qualifying and at the Series Managing Director’s discretion, the time remaining in the Qualifying round will be stopped and will resume once the green flag is displayed. The designated time allotment for each Qualifying round may be adjusted in the sole discretion of the Series Managing Director as a result of unexpected conditions or circumstances.

K. A Qualifying round can be declared complete at the discretion of the Series Managing Director, if in his or her determination, all vehicles had an opportunity to Qualify.


Rule 7.9.1 – Starting Grid Positions Procedure-Qualifying has been Completed

A. Except as set forth in Section 7.10.1 Qualifying-Daytona 500 at the Daytona International Speedway, the following will be the procedure for determining eligibility for and assigning the 40 starting grid positions for a NASCAR Cup Series Championship Event, provided all entrants had an opportunity to Practice and/or an opportunity to Qualify for the Event (as applicable in each scenario).

B. The decisions of whether a vehicle(s) had an opportunity to Practice, had an opportunity to Qualify, and/or made an attempt to Qualify for the Event shall be at the discretion of the Series Managing Director.


Rule 7.9.1.1 – Eligibility for Starting Grid Positions 1st-40th

A. Each Charter Team is eligible for the Race and will be assigned one of the available 40 positions.

B . Open Teams will be eligible for the next available starting grid positions based on the fastest single lap speed posted to each Open Team’s vehicle in the first Qualifying round.


Rule 7.9.1.2 – Assignment of Starting Grid Positions 1st-40th

A. Starting grid positions 1st-40th will be assigned to eligible Team Owners in the order of final Qualifying results.

B. The fastest single lap speed posted to each eligible vehicle in that vehicle’s last completed Qualifying round will determine its starting grid position assignment in each Event.

C. When two or more eligible vehicles have the same Qualifying speed, the starting grid positions for those vehicles in that Event shall be assigned based on NASCAR Cup Series Team Owner Points standings in descending order, in accordance with Section 7.1 General Requirements.

D. If the NASCAR Cup Series Team Owner Points standings do not prevail in breaking the tie, then starting grid positions amongst those vehicles will be assigned by the order in which the duplicate speed was posted, with the driver setting the duplicate speed first receiving the higher starting grid position.


Rule 7.9.1.3 -Assignment of Starting Grid Positions 1st-40th with Qualifying Groups

A. Starting grid positions 1st-40th will be assigned to eligible Team Owners in the order of final Qualifying results.

B. The fastest single lap speed posted by each eligible vehicle in its assigned group will determine its starting grid position.

C. All vehicles that advance to the Final round of Qualifying will be assigned starting positions 1st-10th based on their speed posted in the Final round in descending order, fastest to slowest.

D. Vehicles in Group B that do not advance to the final Qualifying round and are eligible for the Event, will be assigned the odd numbered starting positions (11th, 13th, 15th, etc.).

E. Vehicles in Group A that do not advance to the final Qualifying round will be assigned to the even numbered starting positions (12th, 14th, 16th, etc.).

F. When two or more eligible vehicles in the same Group have the same Qualifying speed, the starting grid positions for those vehicles in that Event shall be assigned based on the NASCAR Cup Series Team Owner Points standings in descending order, in accordance with Section 7.1 General Requirements.

G. If the NASCAR Cup Series Team Owner Points standings do not prevail in breaking the tie, then starting grid positions amongst those vehicles will be assigned by the order in which the duplicate speed was posted, with the driver setting the duplicate speed first receiving the higher starting grid position.

H. In the event the even and odd positions become imbalanced, vehicles may be assigned starting positions that are not based on their Group to ensure the odd numbered positions are filled first.


Rule 7.10.1 – Qualifying for the Daytona 500

Qualifying for the Daytona 500 Event (Qualifying Format, 150-Mile Qualifying Races) is outlined in this Section. The Qualifying process for the Daytona 500 is scheduled to be a 2-step process:

  1. Qualifying (two rounds of single vehicle Qualifying)
  2. Two 150-Mile Qualifying Races

As a general rule, eligibility for starting grid positions for the Daytona 500 Event will be determined as follows:

  • 36 Charter Teams will be eligible for and assigned a starting grid position.
  • 4 Open Teams will be eligible for starting grid positions.
    • Open Team with highest finishing position in each Qualifying Race will be eligible for a starting grid position.
    • Remaining Open Teams will be eligible for 2 starting grid positions based on final Qualifying results.
  • If Qualifying is rained out, Qualifying Race finishing positions determine eligibility of 4 Open Teams (2 from each Qualifying Race).
  • If Qualifying Race 2 is rained out, Qualifying Race 1 determines eligibility for 1 Open Team; Qualifying determines eligibility for 3 Open Teams.
  • If Qualifying Race 1 and Qualifying Race 2 are rained out, Qualifying determines eligibility for 4 Open Teams.
  • If Qualifying and Qualifying Race 1&2 are rained out, the previous seasonu2019s Team Owner Points standings determine eligibility for 4 Open positions. If an Open Team does not have Team Owner Points, the random draw will be used.

This is a general overview of Daytona 500 Qualifying Procedures, with specific procedures set forth below. The following procedures and variations are intended to recognize the most foreseeable circumstances affecting starting grid position determinations, including those affected by adverse conditions, but all possible scenarios may not be addressed. Situations of unforeseeable circumstances not specifically addressed shall be resolved by NASCAR in its sole discretion using the concepts herein as a guide or reference.

NOTE: Procedures in the following Sections vary due to Qualifying results of first and second position (Charter/Open Team Owners) and the scenario listed is when Charter Team Owners have qualified first and second for the Daytona 500.


Rule 7.10.1.1.1 – Daytona 500 Qualifying Procedures

A. Unless otherwise authorized by NASCAR, the following are Qualifying procedures for the Daytona 500.

B. Procedures may be modified by the Series Managing Director based on track conditions or other circumstances.

C. Vehicles will be lined up and released for Qualifying based on the random draw. The top 20 qualifying Team Owners from the previous calendar year’s NASCAR Cup Series Team Owner Points standings that are present will be the final 20 positions in the Qualifying order based on the random draw. The balance of the field will draw for the first Qualifying positions.

D. Any Competitor that impedes or interferes with another Competitor’s Qualifying attempt, or otherwise engages in any unsafe act while on the racing surface (including pit road) during a Qualifying attempt, may be subject to disciplinary action by NASCAR to protect the safety and integrity of the Qualifying procedures. Such action by NASCAR may include but is not limited to, disallowing such Competitor’s posted Qualifying speed(s) and/or removing the vehicle from any additional Qualifying round(s) for the Event.

E. All vehicles must compete in Qualifying unless otherwise authorized by the Series Managing Director.

F. During Qualifying, a timed lap cannot begin or end on pit road.

G. Once a vehicle is removed from the competitive side of pit road, the vehicle will not be permitted to return or compete in that Qualifying round or any future Qualifying round(s) for that Event.

H. Teams will be limited in the adjustments that will be permitted during Qualifying as determined by the Series Managing Director and are subject to change, at the sole discretion of NASCAR.

I. Unless otherwise authorized by the Series Managing Director, only one set of tires are permitted during Qualifying.

J. A team representative must be present at the Qualifying vehicle release point when the vehicle is released for a Qualifying attempt. That team representative must scan NASCAR Race Control and have direct radio communications with the driver during a Qualifying attempt.

K. Vehicles competing in Qualifying must have a designated crew member to monitor NASCAR’s radio in their assigned pit box during the Qualifying attempt(s).

L. If no scheduled Qualifying round(s) are completed due to weather or other adverse conditions, starting grid positions for the 150-Mile Qualifying Races and/or the Daytona 500 will be assigned in accordance with Section 7.10.4 Daytona 500 Starting Grid Positions-Adverse Conditions.

M. When two or more vehicles have the same Qualifying speed, Qualifying positions for those vehicles shall be determined based on previous season’s NASCAR Cup Series Team Owner Points standings in descending order.

N. If the NASCAR Cup Series Team Owner Points standings do not prevail in breaking the tie, then Qualifying positions amongst those vehicles will be determined by the order in which the duplicate speed was posted, with the driver setting the duplicate speed first receiving the higher Qualifying position.


Rule 7.10.1.1.2 – Daytona 500 Qualifying Format

A. Qualifying will consist of two scheduled rounds, one timed lap per round.

B. NASCAR reserves the right to have more than one vehicle engage in Qualifying runs at the same time.

C. Unless otherwise authorized by the Series Managing Director, adjustments or repairs may not be made to the vehicle after the vehicle has taken the green flag at the start/finish line.

D. Any vehicle or driver not ready to compete within five minutes of the time called onto the track may be sent to the rear of the line, repositioned within the order of the Qualifying round, or left out of the remainder of the Qualifying round, at the discretion of the Series Managing Director.

E. Throughout Qualifying, each vehicle will be released in a predetermined timed interval as determined by the Series Managing Director.

F. Upon the completion of each Qualifying lap, NASCAR will impound each vehicle.

G. The ten eligible vehicles that post the fastest single lap speed will have their posted speed reset.

H. The ten eligible vehicles will be assigned positions 1st-10th based on their final Qualifying round speeds in descending order.

I. The remaining vehicles will be assigned starting grid positions in the 150-Mile Qualifying Races based on their fastest single lap speed posted in Qualifying, in descending order.


Rule 7.10.2 – Daytona 500 Starting Grid Position Determinations: Duel Races

A. Starting grid positions for each of the two 150-mile Qualifying Races (herein referred to as “Race 1” and “Race 2”, respectively) are determined by the final Qualifying results and are limited to a maximum of 33 vehicles in each Race.

B. NASCAR will assign a starting grid position to Team Owners in either of the 150-mile Qualifying Races as necessary to attempt to balance the number of Charter Teams and Open Teams, respectively, in each starting field. The following will be used to generally assign vehicles to Race 1 or Race 2 before determining starting grid position.

C. Charter Teams will be divided equally amongst each 150-mile Qualifying Race based on their final Qualifying results, strictly in relation to all other Charter Teams, in descending order (e.g. if 36 Charter Teams are entered in the Event, 18 Charter Teams will be assigned to compete in each 150-mile Qualifying Race). Charter Teams with odd numbered final Qualifying results in relation to all other Charter Teams (1st, 3rd, 5th etc.) are assigned to one 150-mile Qualifying Race. Charter Teams with even numbered final Qualifying results in relation to all other Charter Teams (2nd, 4th, 6th etc.) are assigned to the other 150-mile Qualifying Race. For clarification, this process assigns vehicles to Race 1 or Race 2, but does not establish their starting grid position in that Race.

D. Open Teams will be divided equally amongst each 150-mile Qualifying Race based on their final Qualifying results, strictly in relation to all other Open Teams, in descending order (e.g. if 30 Open Teams are entered in the Event, 15 Open Teams will be assigned to compete in each 150-mile Qualifying Race). Open Teams with odd numbered final Qualifying results in relation to all other Open Teams (1st, 3rd, 5th etc.) are assigned to one 150-mile Qualifying Race. Open Teams with even numbered final Qualifying results in relation to all other Open Teams (2nd, 4th, 6th etc.) are assigned to the other 150-mile Qualifying Race. For clarification, this process assigns vehicles to Race 1 or Race 2, but does not establish their starting grid position in that Race.

E. Following the assignment of all vehicles to their respective Qualifying Race, starting grid positions for each 150-mile Qualifying Race will then be determined as follows:

  1. All vehicles assigned to Race 1 will be assigned a Race 1 starting grid position based on final Qualifying results amongst all vehicles assigned to Race 1 (Charter Teams and Open Teams).
  2. All vehicles assigned to Race 2 will be assigned a Race 2 starting grid position based on final Qualifying results amongst all vehicles assigned to Race 2 (Charter Teams and Open Teams).

F. All vehicles that earned a starting grid position in the Daytona 500 based on final Qualifying results must compete in their respective 150 mile Qualifying Race and comply with all conditions in the Official Entry Blank and in the NASCAR Rules.


Starting Grid Position Determinations: Daytona 500 When Qualifying and Duel Races Have Been Completed

Rule 7.10.3.1 –  Starting Grid Eligibility

A. The starting field for the Daytona 500 will be a maximum of 40 vehicles. All Charter Teams are eligible for and will be assigned one of the available starting grid positions for the Daytona 500, irrespective of their finishing position in the Qualifying Races. The Open Team with the highest finishing position amongst all other Open Teams in Qualifying Race 1 and Qualifying Race 2, respectively, are each eligible for a Daytona 500 starting grid position. Open Teams that have not yet become eligible for a Daytona 500 starting grid position will become eligible for remaining starting grid positions, if any, based on final Qualifying results.

Rule 7.10.3.2 – Assignment of First and Second Starting Positions

A. The fastest single lap speed posted in the last completed Qualifying round is assigned the 1st starting grid position in the Daytona 500.

B. The second fastest single lap speed posted in the last completed Qualifying round is assigned the 2nd starting grid position in the Daytona 500.

Rule 7.10.3.3 – Assignment of Starting Positions 3rd-40th

A. Starting grid positions 3rd-40th for the Daytona 500 will be assigned to (i) the remaining Charter Teams, (ii) the eligible Open Team with the highest finishing position from each 150-mile Qualifying Race, and (iii) the two eligible Open Teams based on final Qualifying results that have not already earned a starting grid position, as follows:

  1. The eligible teams listed above who competed in the first 150-mile Qualifying Race will line up single file on the inside row in the order of the eligible team’s finishing position in the first 150-mile Qualifying Race.
  2. The eligible Team Owners listed above who competed in the second 150-Mile Qualifying Race will line up single file on the outside row in the order of the eligible Team Owner’s finishing position in the second 150-mile Qualifying Race. If necessary, the Team Owner with the last finishing position from the second 150-Mile Qualifying Race will be assigned the 39th starting grid position.
  3. Notwithstanding the above, the eligible Open Team(s) that receive Daytona 500 starting grid position(s) based on final Qualifying results will be assigned the last starting grid position(s), unless one or both such Open Teams posted the fastest or second-fastest single lap speed in the last completed Qualifying round.