NASCAR announced changes to their qualifying procedure ahead of tis weekend’s O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 at the Texas Motor Speedway.
The change comes in the wake of qualifying for the Auto Club 400 at the Auto Club Speedway two weeks where all 12 drivers in Group 3 didn't make a timed lap.
Group qualifying remains the format, but any driver that does not make a qualifying attempt will have any posted times disallowed and be relegated to the rear of the field. Additionally, any driver that is deemed to block the path of any competitor will also have their time excluded or will not be able to partake in any additional rounds.
Cars will be staged in a NASCAR-chosen spot and must continue onto the track once they leave the staging area.
Scott Miller, senior vice president of competition of NASCAR, said that the changes are to preserve the integrity of the competitors and prevent manipulation.
“Qualifying is an important element of the race weekend, and NASCAR has worked closely with the teams to implement a procedure that is both fair from a competition perspective and entertaining for our fans,” said Scott Miller, NASCAR’s senior vice president of competition. “Starting this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway, we will implement a procedural change that will be in effect for all three national series. We expect the updated procedure to result in a better outcome for drivers, fans and our track and broadcast partners.”