Saturday, September 25, 2021

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Robin Pemberton talks changes to qualifying procedure and more


As usual to cap off a test session, Robin Pemberton is on hand to discuss some components of the test, as well as his outlook beyond. The discussion today in the media center brought forth an interesting comment by NASCAR’s Vice President of Competition and Racing Development.

Pemberton said that qualifying for the Daytona 500 would be the same as years before, but beyond it, it could change.

“There are some details we’re working on and trying to finalize all of those things,” he commented. “I can tell you that the Camping World Truck Series and the Nationwide Series will not be single-car qualifying at all this year, and we’re still working on some of the final details of that.”

Pemberton added that even for Daytona, both the Nationwide Series and Camping World Truck Series will not be using a single-car format.

The announcement as to the exact format should com later this month as NASCAR is working at addressing everything on their plate.

For now, Pemberton is keeping it at the fact that Daytona 500 qualifying will remain the same due to being a “one-off and a great format” to use.

“We’ve got the duels on Thursday, and that’s been a pressure-packed race for the teams,” Pemberton added. “Especially now with the lack of lock-ins.  You have to race in.  This place stands on its own right now.  They have qualifying races which nobody else has.  They’ve been a one up on everybody for the most part.”

Whether qualifying races could come into play at more races throughout the season, Pemberton would not elaborate.

Beyond that, Pemberton says he and NASCAR are happy with what they’ve seen out of the Gen 6 car during testing and are looking forward to the rest of pre-season thunder.

The Nationwide Series comes in with a new coolant package, plus a little less spoiler. The package for the NNS cars is meant to break the tandem drafting up as they have done in the Sprint Cup Series.

“The things that we’ve learned in the last two or three years about drafting and draft speeds versus single-car speeds, we’re heading in a little bit different direction than where we’ve been in the past,” Pemberton explained. “So it’s about a little lower drag package which makes it a little harder to draft.  So the spoiler is coming down a little bit.  And the rear springs are being reduced in the Nationwide, so it will travel a little bit more and poke a little smaller hole in the air.

“It should separate the cars a little bit.  Coolant system should be in that right range and in the right direction.  It follows what we’ve done with the Cup series.”


On Monday when the trucks take to the track, they will be testing out the new truck for the season.

As far as the Cup Series, there were some teams that lobbied for more track time following Thursday’s rain-out, but Pemberton doesn’t think it’s necessary.

“I think we’ve got enough track time,” he said. “I really do.  Like I said, when you have as few of changes as we’ve had, I think the teams have a pretty good handle on it.  I think they knew where they were going to need to be.”

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