NASCAR shortens rounds for Richmond Cup Series qualifying

BRISTOL, TN - APRIL 05: Drivers wait on pit road during qualifying for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on April 5, 2019 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

NASCAR Thursday announced that Friday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series pole qualifying session at Richmond Raceway will see the first two rounds shortened from 10 minutes to five minutes.

The first round will see all cars go out in group style for a lap or laps with the top 24 moving to Round 2. The top 12 from Round 2 move to the final round, which is also five minutes in length.

This is not a permanent change to qualifying, as discussions are continuing to take place regarding the qualifying format for NASCAR’s top series. The format for NASCAR Xfinity Series qualifying at Richmond is unchanged.

The enhanced weekend schedule will see inspection take place Saturday afternoon and that will officially set the lineup for Saturday night’s Toyota Owners 400 (7:30 p.m. ET on FOX, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

Greg Engle