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Pemberton: NASCAR to wait-and-see if qualifying changes are merited

Mar 8, 2014, 5:00 PM EDT

Photo: Robert Laberge/Getty Images Photo: Robert Laberge/Getty Images

Although a number of Sprint Cup drivers were quite vocal Friday about NASCAR’s new “knockout” qualifying system, particularly when their cars enter pit road and how to keep their motors cool when not making qualifying laps, NASCAR will likely keep the format as is for the time being.

“We’re going to sit for a while, field all the questions and see what happens,” Robin Pemberton, NASCAR vice president of competition and racing development, said Saturday morning according to NASCAR.com. “It’s a very small snapshot of qualifying so far.”

Pemberton said he and other officials have spoken with a number of drivers who have expressed concern about the new system, which utilized the three-segment system for non-restrictor plate tracks larger than 1.25 miles for the first time Friday.

“We’re listening,” he said. “We told them it’s too early to tell (if tweaks are necessary).

“Other than the cars running around on the bottom and you had one or two complain that it was a close call … again, we’re listening to them, but we want to take a better snapshot of it.”

Pemberton said the sanctioning body will continue to monitor the situation and then determine if changes are necessary.

“Everybody’s working through this stuff,” Pemberton said. “There’s a lot that’s new, new to our officials, new to the race teams. Anytime there is a question, officials are told to call the tower (for confirmation).”

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