NASCAR Alters Commencement Lineups and Introduces Extra Rule Adjustments

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NASCAR tweaks starting lineups, issues other rule changes

NASCAR shared changes to its qualifying procedures for Cup Series races at a competition briefing on Tuesday at its R&D Center in Concord, N.C. These adjustments will have an impact on all races apart from those on superspeedways, as group qualifying isn’t utilized on these tracks.

Regardless of the race track, all entries will still be divided into two groups for qualification. The quickest five drivers from each group will proceed to the final round. From here, these ten vehicles will battle it out for the pole. The positions of these cars in the final phase will dictate the first ten placements in the race.

The starting positions 11-40 will now be determined differently. Cars that do not progress from Group A will set the outside row positions from fastest to slowest. The remaining slots of the inside row will be assigned by the remaining Group B cars.

NASCAR Alters Commencement Lineups and Introduces Extra Rule Adjustments
NASCAR Alters Commencement Lineups and Introduces Extra Rule Adjustments (Credits: NASCAR)

In the previous setup, cars that didn’t make it into the top five of the two groups were placed 11-40. This was contingent on their quickest lap in the qualifying round, irrespective of their group.

Brad Moran, managing director of the Cup series, conveyed that the changes were made after consultation with both teams and drivers. The aim is to eliminate or diminish any undue advantage that drivers may gain by being in a specific group when track conditions alter.

The assignment of groups will continue to rely on performance metrics. This includes factors like the quickest lap time position, the driver’s final race finish position, the position of the owner in the final race, and the owner points position.

A few other developments were also announced on Tuesday. These include plans to persist with the use of mufflers for the preseason Clash happening at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and the Chicago street race. However, a new design has been adopted that’s expected to lessen the heat generated by the mufflers in the cars.

A three-day test was conducted using a full-battery electric race car, designed like a compact utility vehicle, at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway. The car, which doesn’t have any manufacturer-specific design, did an impressive 340 laps over the three days under the supervision of driver David Ragan.

NASCAR also announced plans for additional paving in the region where Ryan Preece’s accident occurred during the Daytona 500. Even though some of the grass area was already paved earlier in the month, further work is needed.

Cup teams have been granted permission to use LED boards on their pit box signs as a way to display sponsor signage. Both the Xfinity and Truck series confirmed the continuation of live pit stops at all races, barring unexpected events.

Furthermore, the Xfinity Series will reintroduce the “Dash 4 Cash’ bonus program, with the qualifying race taking place in March at Richmond, Va. The bonus will be awarded during the Martinsville, Texas, Talladega, and Dover races.

Moreover, the Truck Series will once again run the “Triple Truck Challenge” bonus, with the bonus due to be paid at Charlotte, Gateway, and Nashville races.

In related news, the NASCAR Cup FRM has entered a third car into the Daytona 500 with Kaz Grala, and Johnson, Knaus, and Donnie Allison have been officially welcomed into the NASCAR Hall of Fame. NASCAR also unveiled details for the 2024 L.A. Clash format, which will have a smaller field size.


By Jayson O'Neil

Jayson is a car-o-holic, and you will often find him writing about cars & bikes here at DaxStreet. You can reach out to him at [email protected]

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