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Kurt Busch, James Courtney swap NASCAR and V8 in Austin

New road course qualifying procedure

NASCAR has announced a new qualifying format for the Sprint Cup races it holds on road courses such as Watkins Glen International and Sonoma Raceway in future.

Instead of the traditional single-car runs held on ovals, cars will now be divided up into groups based on final practice times and will have a designated period of running with the car's best lap time during that period taken as their qualifying lap. NASCAR's Nationwide Series already uses a very similar system for its own road course events, which saves time in and makes road the sessions more interesting as a whole.

"The change will add an exciting element to road-course qualifying," said NASCAR's vice president of competition Robin Pemberton. "Fans will be treated to new strategy and increased competition with several cars on track at once."



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US President Barack Obama (middle) shakes hands with team owner Roger Penske (right), as Sprint Cup Champion Brad Keselowski (left) stands nearby during an event at the White House, April 16, 2013 in Washington, DC. President Obama is hosted the event to honour Keselowski the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion. (Photo Credit: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
Marcos Ambrose leads the field after the start of the Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma on Sunday, June 24, 2012. (Photo Credit: By Tom Pennington, Getty Images)
Clint Bowyer hops a curb during the Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma on Sunday, June 24, 2012. (Photo Credit: By Ezra Shaw, Getty Images)
Former NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Kurt Busch and 2010 V8 Supercar title winner James Courtney trade cars at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas on April 23 in a media event promoting the first V8 Supercar race in the US due to be held on May 17-19 2013. (Photo Credit: Paul Ryan Media for V8 Supercar Austin 400 at the Circuit of the Americas)
Former NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Kurt Busch and 2010 V8 Supercar title winner James Courtney trade cars at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas on April 23 in a media event promoting the first V8 Supercar race in the US due to be held on May 17-19 2013. (Photo Credit: Paul Ryan Media for V8 Supercar Austin 400 at the Circuit of the Americas)
Former NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Kurt Busch and 2010 V8 Supercar title winner James Courtney trade cars at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas on April 23 in a media event promoting the first V8 Supercar race in the US due to be held on May 17-19 2013. (Photo Credit: Paul Ryan Media for V8 Supercar Austin 400 at the Circuit of the Americas) Kurt Busch, James Courtney, media event, V8, NASCAR, Cup, Circuit of the Americas, COTA, Austin, Texas
Former NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Kurt Busch and 2010 V8 Supercar title winner James Courtney trade cars at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas on April 23 in a media event promoting the first V8 Supercar race in the US due to be held on May 17-19 2013. (Photo Credit: Paul Ryan Media for V8 Supercar Austin 400 at the Circuit of the Americas) Kurt Busch, James Courtney, media event, V8, NASCAR, Cup, Circuit of the Americas, COTA, Austin, Texas
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, receives a lobster in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 21, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 21, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, celebrates after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 21, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire.  (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 21, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
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Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Designate A Driver Chevrolet SS finished in third place Sunday, September 21, 2014 in the Chase Challenger 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire. Harvick is in the Chase which continues in next week`s Challenger 16 race. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
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David Ragan, driver of the #34 Taco Bell Ford, and Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Ground Toyota, are seen on the track after crashing during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 21, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, loses control of the car after making contact with Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 21, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Will Schneekloth/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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T Burton - Unregistered

April 26, 2013 6:40 AM

Thanks for this great recap! I work with V8 Supercars here in the US, and we are very excited for next month's inaugural Austin 400. If anyone would like additional info on the race, search "V8 Supercars COTA" for details on ticketing, etc. Thanks!



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