NASCAR reveals knock-out qualifying format

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NASCAR reveals knock-out qualifying format

NASCAR

NASCAR reveals knock-out qualifying format

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NASCAR announced Friday morning the return of practice and qualifying for the 2022 season, including a knockout-style qualifying format for all three series.

For the past two seasons, most races were held without on-track activity leading up to race day because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Bigger events such as the Daytona 500 and the championship race were among the eight Cup Series races that had practice and qualifying last year. A performance matrix was used for all three series to set the starting lineup when qualifying wasn’t held.

All events will have qualifying next season.

Most of the Cup Series schedule will have a practice and qualifying session of approximately two hours, with the field split into two groups. The two-hour window will assist broadcast partners in their coverage.

Six Cup Series weekends, five Xfinity Series weekends, and eight Camping World Truck Series weekends will have extended practices. It will feature one standalone 50-minute practice as well as qualifying.

“NASCAR is excited to return practice and qualifying to its race weekends,” said Scott Miller, NASCAR senior vice president of competition. “We missed seeing cars and trucks on track all weekend long, and so did our fans. We worked closely with our broadcast partners, teams, and racetracks to create an exciting, unique qualifying format while keeping several of the efficiencies that helped our entire industry successfully navigate the pandemic.”

The format for each series:

NASCAR Cup Series

Oval Qualifying

• Group A and Group B will each receive 15 minutes of practice

• Groups set by odd/even finishing order of previous race

• Qualifying Round 1 (Group A) – single car, one lap*

 Top 5 transfer to Final Round

• Qualifying Round 1 (Group B) – single car, one lap*

 Top 5 transfer to Final Round

• Qualifying Final Round (10 cars) – single car, one lap*

* — Two laps at Bristol, Dover, Martinsville and Richmond

Superspeedways

• Qualifying Round 1 (all cars) – single car, one lap

 Top 10 transfer to Final Round

• Qualifying Final Round (10 cars) – single car, one lap

Road Course

• Group A and Group B will each receive 20 minutes of practice

• Qualifying Round 1 (Group A) – 15-minute timed session

 Top 5 transfer to Final Round

• Qualifying Round 1 (Group B) – 15-minute timed session

 Top 5 transfer to Final Round

• Qualifying Final Round (10 cars) – 10-minute timed session 

Dirt

• Two 50-minute practice sessions

• 4 qualifying races determine the field and lineup for the main race; order of qualifying races based on random draw

Extended Practice Weekends

• Events: Daytona 500, Atlanta-1, Bristol Dirt, WWT Raceway at Gateway, Nashville, Phoenix-2

• One standalone 50-minute practice replaces group practice sessions

• Qualifying procedure is based on the track type, following the procedures above

NASCAR Xfinity Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (90 minutes)

Oval Qualifying

• 20-minute practice for all vehicles

• Qualifying (all vehicles) – single vehicle, one lap*

* — Two laps at Bristol, Dover, Martinsville and Richmond

Superspeedways, NCWTS Dirt

•Same as NASCAR Cup Series format

Road Courses

• All vehicles receive 20 minutes of practice in a single session

• Qualifying Round 1 (Group A) – 15-minute timed session

  Top 5 transfer to Final Round

• Qualifying Round 1 (Group B) – 15-minute timed session

  Top 5 transfer to Final Round

• Qualifying Final Round (10 vehicles) – 10-minute timed session

Extended Practice Weekends

• NXS: Daytona-1, Atlanta-1, Portland, Nashville, Phoenix-2

• NCWTS: Daytona, Atlanta, Bristol Dirt, Knoxville, Sonoma, Mid-Ohio, Nashville, Phoenix-2

• One standalone 50-minute practice replaces group practice sessions

• Qualifying procedure is based on the track type, following the procedures above

The NASCAR season starts on February 6, 2022, with the Cup Series running an exhibition race at the L.A. Coliseum.

Click here to view the qualifying format as a PDF

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