NASCAR changing Cup qualifying procedures

NASCAR is changing its NASCAR Sprint Cup qualifying rules effective next week at Pocono Raceway …. qualifying order will be determined by the driver's fastest lap in first practice. The times on the speed sheet will be inverted with the slowest cars attempting their qualifying runs first. The go-or-go-home cars will now qualify among the 35 teams locked in on owner points and not be separated by the field. The NASCAR Sprint Cup director does reserve the right to change a driver's qualifying order or allow "adjustments or repairs" to cars after the car has taken the green flag at the start/finish line. And all cars must qualify with a full fuel cell.

According to the NASCAR bulletin: "Qualifying consists of two consecutive timed laps (EIRI). The fastest lap determines qualifying position. NASCAR reserves the right to have more than one car engage in qualifying runs at the same time. Cars will be released in selected increments until all cars have had an opportunity to attempt qualifying." EIRI stands for "except in rare instances." In case of a rain-out of practice, a random drawing will be held for cars set up in the garage area to determine qualifying. If qualifying is rained out, the order of the field will be set according to Section 9-5 of the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup rule book. According to the rule book "all available starting positions will first be assigned to those car owners who have entered in the event prior to the drawing deadline. All available starting positions will be assigned including those starting positions previously designated as provisional starting positions on the Official Entry Blank. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship points for the event will be assigned to those non-qualifier car owners provided they have entered in the event prior to the entry deadline." Fox Sports

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