NASCAR: Qualifying, race format explained for Trucks’ debut at Knoxville

Dirt-track qualifying procedures that were washed away with barely a trial run at Bristol Motor Speedway are back. The format, which includes qualifying heats with incentives for passing, will return for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series’ debut at Knoxville Raceway.

The procedures will set the starting lineup for Friday night’s Corn Belt 150 at the Iowa half-mile. The first of four heats is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. ET with the 150-lap main event set for 9 p.m. ET — all broadcast on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

Torrential rain and flooding nixed qualifying for both the Cup Series and Trucks at Bristol’s dirt layout in March, mothballing the revised race structure until this weekend. Here’s how that system is laid out, with qualifying, pit-road procedures and race format:

Starting lineup format

  • Four qualifying heats of 15 laps each will be held, with only green-flag laps counting. No overtime rule will be in effect, but free-pass and wave-around procedures will remain.
  • Qualifying heat assignments and starting positions will be determined by a random draw, conducted in order of team owner points standings. A total of 40 trucks are on the Knoxville entry list, which would mean 10-truck fields for each heat. The main event’s field is capped at 40 trucks, so barring a late entry, all trucks will qualify for the feature.
  • The starting lineup will be determined by a formula that weighs finishing position plus the number of positions gained during each heat. Drivers finishing first in their heats earn 10 points, second place earns nine, third place collects eight and so forth. Additionally, drivers earn one passing point for each position gained in their heat; there are no point deductions or “negative points” for drivers who lose positions in their heats. The points totals determine starting positions. Also, these points are only used to determine the starting lineup and do not count toward the season-long championship standings.
  • Ties in these combined points totals will be broken by current team owner points.

Pit-stop format

  • Teams will not be allowed to change tires or add fuel except during the breaks between stages.
  • Teams are required to pit during at least one of the stage breaks. There will be no race onto or off pit road, using a controlled pit-stop procedure similar to the format in previous dirt-track events. The non-competitive pit stops must be completed within a designated time limit (to be determined).

Stages and schedule

  • Stages for Friday’s main event will end at Lap 40 and Lap 90, with 150 laps the scheduled full distance.
  • The series will hold an 80-minute practice session Thursday, starting at 7:05 p.m. ET (FS1). NASCAR PR