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NASCAR announced Tuesday (July 21) that the rest of the 2020 schedule will not feature practice or qualifying for any of the three major series.
The sport’s top three divisions have mostly run without either for the last two months, in order to limit exposure and activity at the track amid the coronavirus pandemic. The only exceptions were the Cup Series’ qualifying session for the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway and the Xfinity Series’ practice sessions for the circuit’s first race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s road course.
“Following discussions with our race teams and the broader industry, NASCAR will continue to conduct its race weekends without practice and qualifying for the remainder of the 2020 season in all three national series,” NASCAR’s Senior Vice President of Competition Scott Miller said in a release. “The current format has worked well in addressing several challenges during our return to racing. Most importantly, we have seen competitive racing week-to-week. NASCAR will adjust the starting lineup draw procedure for the playoff races and will announce the new process at a later date.”
The prime outlier in the remainder of 2020 is the Daytona International Speedway road course. All three series will start the races there essentially blind, with no practice or qualifying to acclimate the drivers. Drivers are also only allowed to compete in one series that weekend.
The lack of qualifying has largely been a non-issue, save for a pair of Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series entry lists and one Cup entry list that saw entry amounts larger than the allotted field.