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DATE News (chronologically)
03/15/14
nassprint
NASCAR Drivers pleased with change to qualifying
Qualifying [at Bristol] went without a hitch. No wrecks, no traffic jams, no apparent problems with cars cooling their engines. Drivers universally praised NASCAR's decision this week to permit cool-down boxes on pit road, eliminating the need for cars to cruise the lower apron of the track at slow speeds in an attempt to cool their engines.

"That rule change has removed danger and replaced it with opportunity," #2-Brad Keselowski said. "Being able to go out there and make multiple runs is a lot more plausible because of that scenario (with additional cooling capability). That rewards the teams and the fans as well."

Asked about the changes, #24-Jeff Gordon, put his hands together as if in prayer and looked toward the heavens. "That's a great move and I think we're all very thankful," he said.

His Hendrick Motorsports teammate #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. agreed. "Great move by NASCAR," said Earnhardt Jr., who was 14th fastest in the first qualifying round, failing to make the 12-car transfer spot in the knockout format. "Just being able to use the cool boxes, guys weren't out there riding around. I think it's still exciting, still a good format and much safer."

"This is way better," said #9-Marcos Ambrose, who qualified fifth. "I don't miss going out there and shutting myself off and having a car blow by me at full speed. I commend NASCAR for stepping up and making changes." (NASCAR Wire Service)

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