Following complaints from drivers and stakeholders in the sport after Sunday’s Daytona 500 Group Qualifying session, NASCAR has made adjustments to the qualifying format. These changes will go into effect immediately, beginning with the NASCAR XFINITY Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series events at Daytona International Speedway this weekend.
While the first round consisted of splitting the field into two previously, the field will now be split into four groups of approximately 12 vehicles (depending on the size of the field, which will be broken into four groups) based upon random draw.
The top-24 vehicles from the first round will advance to the following round. This means the top 24 speeds from across all four groups.
While the second round consisted of one big group of 24 previously, the field will now be split into two groups of 12, with the odd qualifying speeds from round one in the first group, and the even qualifying speeds from round one in the second group.
The top-12 vehicles from the second round will advance to the final round. This means the top 12 speeds from across both groups.
The third and final round will consist of 12 vehicles.
While rounds lasted five minutes before, they will now last two minutes and thirty seconds. There will be a three minute break between each group in a round, and a 10-minute break between each round.
NASCAR has supplied a graphic to showcase the new format, as seen below.
NASCAR is also putting an end to sitting at pit road and waiting, virtue of the following amendments:
- Also worth noting that the vehicles participating in the next group session, will be staged single file starting at pit stall one, with their left side tires just outside the outer line of the pit box. There will be adequate spacing between vehicles to allow drivers to advance to the track at their own discretion.
- Once a vehicle moves from the staging area, it must continue to the track and cannot stop