NASCAR alters Talladega qualifying procedure

A more rapid qualifying format for both the GEICO 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and Fred’s 250 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races at Talladega Superspeedway, Oct. 17-19, was unveiled today by NASCAR, and is sure to create an extra element of fan excitement at the 2.66-mile venue.

Both national series' qualifying will take on a more fast-paced look that should resemble race conditions and promises to bring out the best in the competitors. In addition to the qualifying changes, the Saturday, Oct. 18, schedule will now see the start of the Fred’s 250 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race moved earlier in the day to a 12 NOON (CT) green flag, and will be televised live on FOX. Foodland/Food Giant Qualifying for the GEICO 500 will follow later in the day at 3:30 p.m. (CT). It will be aired live on ESPNEWS, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

National series qualifying at Talladega will now consist of the following:

• Qualifying will consist of three rounds with the first round divided into two groups amongst the competitors. The first qualifying round is five minutes in length for each group.

• Competitors will be assigned to a first qualifying round group based on the random draw held earlier in the event.

• The 24 eligible competitors who post the fastest single lap speed from either of the first qualifying round groups will advance to the second round. The remaining competitors will be sorted based on their speed posted in the first round of qualifying in descending order.

• There will be a 10-minute break after the completion of the first qualifying round and the 24 remaining competitors who advance to the second round will have their times reset.

• The second qualifying round is five minutes in length and the 12 eligible competitors who post the fastest single lap speed will advance to the third and final round.

• The fastest remaining competitors will earn positions 13-24 based on their fastest single lap speed posted in qualifying in descending order.

• Following a five minute break, the 12 eligible competitors who advance to the final round will have their posted speeds reset.

• The final qualifying round is five minutes in length and the fastest single lap speed will determine positions 1-12 in descending order.

The field for the Fred’s 250 Powered By Coca-Cola will be set on Friday, Oct. 17, at 4:30 p.m. (CT) and will be aired live on FOX Sports 1. The Friday slate also includes two rounds of practice for the Sprint Cup drivers and one practice session for the NASCAR Camping World Series competitors.

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