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Practice & Qualifying Return With Knockout-Style Format in 2022

NASCAR to Implement Group-Based Qualifying for Three National Series

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (November 19, 2021) – NASCAR today announced the return of practice and qualifying to its race weekends in 2022, with a dramatic knockout-style qualifying format setting the starting lineup for each NASCAR Cup Series race.

The announcement comes after nearly two seasons with race weekends largely held without practice or qualifying – a procedure born out of necessity to reduce travel days and on-site personnel while navigating the COVID-19 pandemic.

In 2022, all events across all three NASCAR national series are scheduled to include qualifying.

“NASCAR is excited to return practice and qualifying to its race weekends,” said Scott Miller, NASCAR senior vice president of competition. “We missed seeing cars and trucks on track all weekend long, and so did our fans. We worked closely with our broadcast partners, teams and racetracks to create an exciting, unique qualifying format, while keeping several of the efficiencies that helped our entire industry successfully navigate the pandemic.”

For a majority of the NASCAR Cup Series schedule, the field will be split into two groups and participate in a practice and qualifying event that will last approximately two hours. The two-hour window will allow broadcast partners ample time and ability to cover the entire field, bringing wide-ranging, in-depth stories and insight to millions of fans each and every weekend.

During six NASCAR Cup Series weekends, five NASCAR Xfinity Series weekends and eight NASCAR Camping World Truck Series weekends, NASCAR will implement an extended practice weekend schedule, which will feature one standalone 50-minute practice as well as a qualifying event.

Daytona International Speedway’s Speedweeks and the lead-up to the DAYTONA 500 will employ the extended practice format for all three series. Busch Pole Award Qualifying for the DAYTONA 500 is scheduled for Wednesday evening, Feb. 16, 2022.

NASCAR Cup Series

Oval Qualifying

  • Group A and Group B will each receive 15 minutes of practice
    • Groups set by odd/even finishing order of previous race
  • Qualifying Round 1 (Group A) – single car, one lap*
    • Top 5 transfer to Final Round
  • Qualifying Round 1 (Group B) – single car, one lap*
    • Top 5 transfer to Final Round
  • Qualifying Final Round (10 cars) – single car, one lap*

* — Two laps at Bristol, Dover, Martinsville and Richmond

Superspeedways

  • Qualifying Round 1 (all cars) – single car, one lap
    • Top 10 transfer to Final Round
  • Qualifying Final Round (10 cars) – single car, one lap

Road Course

  • Group A and Group B will each receive 20 minutes of practice
  • Qualifying Round 1 (Group A) – 15-minute timed session
    • Top 5 transfer to Final Round
  • Qualifying Round 1 (Group B) – 15-minute timed session
    • Top 5 transfer to Final Round
  • Qualifying Final Round (10 cars) – 10-minute timed session

Dirt

  • Two 50-minute practice sessions
  • 4 qualifying races determine the field and lineup for the main race; order of qualifying races based on random draw

Extended Practice Weekends

  • Events:Daytona 500, Atlanta-1, Bristol Dirt, WWT Raceway at Gateway, Nashville, Phoenix-2
  • One standalone 50-minute practice replaces group practice sessions
  • Qualifying procedure is based on the track type, following the procedures above

NASCAR Xfinity Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (90 minutes)

Oval Qualifying

  • 20-minute practice for all vehicles
  • Qualifying (all vehicles) – single vehicle, one lap*

* — Two laps at Bristol, Dover, Martinsville and Richmond

Superspeedways, NCWTS Dirt

  • Same as NASCAR Cup Series format

Road Courses

  • All vehicles receive 20 minutes of practice in a single session
  • Qualifying Round 1 (Group A) – 15-minute timed session
    • Top 5 transfer to Final Round
  • Qualifying Round 1 (Group B) – 15-minute timed session
    • Top 5 transfer to Final Round
  • Qualifying Final Round (10 vehicles) – 10-minute timed session

Extended Practice Weekends

  • NXS:Daytona-1, Atlanta-1, Portland, Nashville, Phoenix-2
  • NCWTS:Daytona, Atlanta, Bristol Dirt, Knoxville, Sonoma, Mid-Ohio, Nashville, Phoenix-2
  • One standalone 50-minute practice replaces group practice sessions
  • Qualifying procedure is based on the track type, following the procedures above
2022-NASCAR-Qualifying-Graphic

About NASCAR

The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) is the sanctioning body for the No. 1 form of motorsports in the United States and owner of 16 of the nation’s major motorsports entertainment facilities. NASCAR consists of three national series (NASCAR Cup Series™, NASCAR Xfinity Series™, and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series™), four regional series (ARCA Menards Series, ARCA Menards Series East & West and the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour), one local grassroots series (NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series) and three international series (NASCAR Pinty’s Series, NASCAR Peak Mexico Series, NASCAR Whelen Euro Series). The International Motor Sports Association™ (IMSA®) governs the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship™, the premier U.S. sports car series. NASCAR also owns Motor Racing Network, Racing Electronics, and ONE DAYTONA. Based in Daytona Beach, Florida, with offices in eight cities across North America, NASCAR sanctions more than 1,200 races in more than 30 U.S. states, Canada, Mexico and Europe. For more information visit www.NASCAR.com and www.IMSA.com, and follow NASCAR on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat (‘NASCAR’).



The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com.

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