NASCAR announced a new qualifying format in the Sprint Cup Series starting in 2013, Tuesday. Starting next season the series will move to a 36-6-1 format where the fastest 36 cars will make the race on speed.
The next six highest ranking cars in owners points that have not already earned a starting position through qualifying and who have entered the event by the posted entry deadline will also make the field. The final starting position will be awarded to the most recent eligible past champion driver. If there is no eligible past champion driver, then a seventh car will make the field based upon owners’ points. Provisional positions in the 36-6-1 format will be lined up by owners’ points, not speed.
The change eliminates the top 35 in owners points rule in effect since 2005 which locked in the top 35 in owner’s points into the field. Under the rules announced Tuesday only a maximum of seven cars will be locked into a given race.
“This is a big win for our fans,” said Robin Pemberton, NASCAR vice president of competition. “They’ll see the fastest cars earn their starting spots. This change adds intrigue, drama and excitement to qualifying.” MORE>>>