We now have the main details involving NASCAR’s new knockout format for qualifying in all three of its national series, so this post will serve to list some of the additional details that will go along with it:
After each qualifying round, the top speeds will be reset and drivers will have to post their best laps again in the next round.
IN THE PITS
Teams will be allowed to make a limited number of adjustments during breaks between qualifying rounds such as wedge, track bar, tire pressure, tape, and plugging in oil. However, repairs will not be allowed on pit road (teams can’t jack up the car or raise its hood, either).
THERE’S NO GOING BACK
If a car re-enters the garage, it will be removed from qualifying and will have its starting position set according to its best lap speed from its last round completed.
RANDOM DRAW FOR FIRST ROUND
Cars will be lined up for Round 1 of qualifying on pit road according to a random draw.
GOTTA HAVE ONE
Cars do not have to run for the entire duration of a qualifying round, but must complete at least one lap to set a qualifying time.
WATCH THE CLOCK
Once the clock runs out on a qualifying round, cars are allowed to pass the start/finish line one time.
The new format will not impact NASCAR’s current policy for provisionals, which will be assigned at the end of Round 1 of qualifying.
TIE-BREAKERS FOR SAME SPEED
Should two or more cars have the same lap speed, their starting positions will be determined by owners’ points. If owners’ points fail to break the tie, the driver that set the duplicate time first will start in front of the other. (A note: Owners’ points from last season will be used to break ties until after the third race of this season).
PIT STALL SELECTION
The selection of pit stalls after qualifying will remain the same; the top qualifier gets first choice, the second-fastest qualifier gets the second choice, and so on.