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)
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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Greg is a published award winning sportswriter who spent 23 years combined active and active reserve military service, much of that in and around the Special Operations community. Greg is the author of "The Nuts and Bolts of NASCAR: The Definitive Viewers' Guide to Big-Time Stock Car Auto Racing" and has been published in major publications across the country including the Los Angeles Times, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was also a contributor to Chicken Soup for the NASCAR Soul, published in 2010, and the Christmas edition in 2016. He wrote as the NASCAR, Formula 1, Auto Reviews and National Veterans Affairs Examiner for Examiner.com and has appeared on Fox News. He holds a BS degree in communications, a Masters degree in psychology and is currently a PhD candidate majoring in psychology. He is currently the weekend Motorsports Editor for Autoweek.