Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Could single-car qualifying runs return to restrictor-plate tracks? It's possible

   NASCAR officials confirmed Tuesday that they have not settled on a format for qualifying at the next restrictor-plate race weekend, scheduled May 1-3 at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway.

    A more traditional single-car qualifying format, but run at a much quicker pace, is currently under consideration for the spring Talladega races, multiple sources confirmed to The Charlotte Observer.  

   NASCAR has experienced several problems over the past year adapting its new group qualifying format to restrictor-plate races and used the format for the first time at this year's Daytona 500.

   Since "drafting" at Daytona and Talladega can produce faster speeds, teams have tried to time their appearances on the track together during the different rounds in order to maximize speed. The result has been some wrecks and other teams failing to register a speed during the time limit.

   After the Daytona qualifying event for the Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR made some tweaks to the format for qualifying for the Trucks and Xfinity races - including increasing the number of groups and eliminating waits on pit road - in hopes of preventing some of the issues.     

   Following the Daytona weekend, NASCAR Executive Vice President Steve O'Donnell said the sanctioning body would continue to review the format for future superspeedway events.

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