NASCAR changes qualifying procedures for 2013, shrinks Nationwide fields

NASCAR has changed the qualifying procedures for 2013. (Getty Images)

 

NASCAR has changed the qualifying procedures for 2013. (Getty Images)

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>>>

About Greg Engle 7420 Articles
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.