June 24, 2012; Sonoma, CA, USA; Sprint Cup Series driver Clint Bowyer (15) races through turn 1 during the Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Group Qualifying Format Announced for Sprint Cup Series at Road Courses

2013 has been a season of changes for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and it only appears to be continuing that theme.

Monday, NASCAR announced that a new qualifying format will be introduced to the Sprint Cup Series when the series hits the road to California later this summer for the first of two road course races this season.

The Nationwide Series has used this format, which is commonly used in the IndyCar Series. Now, the Sprint Cup Series will be following suit!

Under the new procedures, the cars will now qualify in groups instead of their two-lap single car runs.

“The change will add an exciting element to road-course qualifying,” said Robin Pemberton, NASCAR vice president of competition. “Fans will be treated to new strategy and increased competition with several cars on track at once.”

The new rules are pretty simple and have been provided by NASCAR for public information.

  • Cars attempting to qualify will be divided into groups. The number of groups, and amount of cars in each, will depend on the number of cars that practice for the event.
  • Group assignments will be based on final practice times.
  • Each qualifying group will be on-track for a set period of time, determined by the Series Director.
  • A car’s best lap time during the group session will be the qualifying lap time of record.
  • A group’s time begins when the first car receives the green flag at the start/finish line.

Qualifying should now be something for fans to look forward to at these events. I can’t wait to see how this will all play out this fall!

Tags: NASCAR Sonoma Raceway Sprint Cup Series Watkins Glen International

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