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Following numerous mishaps during the 2019 season while trying to set the field, NASCAR is returning to single-car qualifying runs for all three national series for ovals.
The changes go into effect immediately this weekend at Dover International Speedway, where the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, Xfinity Series and Gander Outdoors Truck Series are all competing beginning on Friday, May 3.
The multi-round qualifying format used since 2014 been scrapped as well.
At tracks larger than 1.25 miles, a single qualifying lap will be used to set the starting lineup, while at tracks smaller than 1.25 miles, two laps will be used to set the field.
“It was (a) unified (decision) between broadcasters, teams and NASCAR,” Scott Miller, NASCAR senior VP of competition, told NASCAR.com. “Every team has a good shot of getting covered during the qualifying session.”
This decision contradicts Miller’s previous assertion from March that NASCAR would not go back to single-car qualifying: ““Single-car qualifying is two things – it’s boring and it’s expensive,” he said then. “It also doesn’t create a good show. Anytime we go on the track it should be a show. Certainly, we are in, first and foremost, the racing business. But we’re also in show business. We definitely have to provide our fans with something that’s intriguing to watch and gets them excited about coming back and watching the race.”
The draw for qualifying order will be dependent on the previous race’s starting lineup.
Group qualifying was used at all tracks since 2014 after being tested at road courses in 2013, except for Daytona International Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway, being eliminated in 2015 after proving too dangerous.