NASCAR bans cool down laps during open qualifying

LAS VEGAS, NV - MARCH 07:  Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Kobalt Tools Chevrolet, drives during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Kobalt 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 7, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)

LAS VEGAS, NV – MARCH 07: Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Kobalt Tools Chevrolet, drives during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Kobalt 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 7, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)

NASCAR announced Tuesday that the practice of cool down laps during the new open knockout qualifying sessions would no longer be permitted effective immediately.

NASCAR instituted a new group qualifying format for its three national series in January and has continued to evaluate the process through the first three races of the season. Many drivers have complained that during the sessions they must slow their cars down to cool the engines since no cool down units were allowed on pit road.  The result was slower cars running on the track at full speed while others ran near the bottom slowly; several near misses occurred.

It was a situation that last week’s pole sitter Joey Logano wasn’t looking forward to at this week’s stop in Bristol Motor Speedway and its high banked .533-mile short track. MORE>>>

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