You read the title right: NASCAR is returning to single-car qualifying on ovals starting this weekend at Dover International Speedway. Since the start of the 2014 season, NASCAR has opted for group qualifying on all tracks across its three major series.
However, with a dud of a qualifying session this season at Auto Club Speedway, the change was necessary to avoid any further blunders where no teams record a time. The three road courses, Sonoma, Watkins Glen, and the Charlotte Roval, with still utilize group qualifying to set the grid.
The qualifying order will be set based on a random draw, with the top twenty qualifiers from the previous week being selected in spots 21-40, while the slowest half of the field will be selected in spots 1-20. For example, the pole winner from the previous week can have the 21st to 40th qualifying attempt.
What does this mean for NASCAR? In an age where fans are demanding NASCAR go “back to its roots,” this decision brings us back to that. Qualifying for years was simply the fastest car on pole, second fastest in second and so on. Now that it’s back, fans will surely tune in to see live coverage of qualifying.
Another perk is each car, driver and team will now receive ample TV time to showcase their brand, so to speak. With group qualifying, broadcasts often focused on the top tier teams, but now with the changes, the under-funded teams get just as much TV time as the rest of the teams. Talk about a win-win for NASCAR this week!
Featured Image Credit: Nascar
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