NASCAR personalities positive about knockout qualifying on Twitter

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NASCAR drivers will have a busier qualifying day in 2014 after the sanctioning body’s unveiling of a new, knockout-style qualifying format across all three national series.

Traditional, single-car qualifying has been jettisoned in favor of a two or three-round format that will have 12 drivers in the final round trying to lay down the fastest lap and earn the pole position. NASCAR certainly hopes their move will ramp up excitement for everybody leading to the race itself.

As for what the drivers are thinking about the knockout format, a quick look at Twitter reveals that they’re reacting positively to it. Here’s a few takes from that group…

Four-time Sprint Cup champion Jeff Gordon:

2012 Cup champion Brad Keselowski:

Hendrick Motorsports’ Kasey Kahne:

Former Daytona 500 winner/team owner Michael Waltrip:

And of course, the tracks could really emerge as a winner with this new format if more fans opt to attend qualifying now that it’s been overhauled. Here’s some reactions from that perspective…

Texas Motor Speedway president/GM Eddie Gossage:

Michigan International Speedway president Roger Curtis:

Pocono Raceway president/CEO Brandon Igdalsky:

Al Unser Jr. to race Pikes Peak Hill Climb for first time in 29 years

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Two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Al Unser Jr. is coming out of retirement to race again.

Unser Jr., who turns 56 on April 19, will compete in the 96th Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb on June 24. It will be the first time Unser has raced at Pikes Peak in 29 years, since the 1989 event.

Unser won the Hill Climb and was named “King of the Mountain” in the 1983 event.

Unser said in 2007 that he was retiring from racing and had no plans to race in the future. However, he has taken part since then in some selected vintage racing events.

Speaking of vintage cars, Unser is slated to drive a 1936 Chevrolet Sedan in this year’s Hill Climb, according to race organizers.

He’ll compete with a number of luminaries including eight-time Hill Climb winner Paul Dallenbach; Layne Schranz, who will be competing in his 25th “Race to the Clouds”; 23-time champion Clint Vahsholtz; 25-time Hill Climb competitor David Schmidt II and three-time Climb winner Spencer Steele.

Unser recently returned to IndyCar racing as a consultant with Harding Racing, which is beginning its first full season in the series with Gabby Chaves behind the wheel.