Feb 28, 2014, 10:42 AM EDT
NASCAR will debut its new group qualifying procedures today at Phoenix International Raceway.
Somewhat influenced by Formula One’s qualifying procedures, the new Sprint Cup Coors Light Qualifying begins at 6:30 pm ET at PIR.
Unofficially known as “the pack is back” (and no, that’s not a reference to the NFL’s Green Bay Packers), the new procedures replace NASCAR’s former one car at a time qualifying. Last Sunday’s season-opening Daytona 500 was the last time solo one-car qualifying will be seen for a Cup race.
The new qualifying system may be a bit confusing to fans at first, but they should quickly get the hang of it.
Essentially, tracks that are less than 1.25 miles, such as Phoenix, Bristol, Martinsville, New Hampshire and Richmond, will see two qualifying rounds. The first will last 30 minutes, with all cars expected to be on the track.
The fastest 12 drivers in the first round will then move to a 10-minute second round, which will determine the pole sitter. The other cars will be placed on the starting grid based upon their best single qualifying lap during either the first or second sessions.
At tracks longer than 1.25 miles, such as next week’s race host, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, there will be three rounds of qualifying.
The first round will feature all entries and will take 25 minutes.
The 10-minute second round will be the 24 fastest from the first round.
The third and final round will have the 12 fastest from the second round vying for No. 1 qualifier over a brief five-minute session.
The same qualifying procedures will also be used for both the Nationwide Series and Camping World Truck Series.
Follow me @JerryBonkowski
- It’s official: Redskins QB RG III to drive pace car at Richmond for Saturday’s Sprint Cup race 1
- Raikkonen: Yes, he’s still motivated, otherwise he wouldn’t be here 5
- Red Bull tweaks Mercedes over attempt to increase ‘Fuelgate’ punishment 3
- NASCAR still humming along after last fall’s Richmond scandal 9
- Mercedes’ domination: Equivalent or different from Red Bull’s? 2
More from NASCAR America
- VIDEO: Vettel ignores team orders, telling team “tough luck” (20)
- Alonso’s doing it again – another year outperforming teammate, equipment (12)
- NASCAR still humming along after last fall’s Richmond scandal (9)
- In re-released interview, Brad Keselowski recalls how Rick Hendrick left him heartbroken (8)
- Maldonado brushes off crash and spin in practice (7)