NASCAR Announces Testing And Qualifying Changes For 2013


(WOMR file photo)

NASCAR has announced a few changes that become effective in 2013.  Check out the new rule changes for the 2013 Sprint Cup, Nationwide, and Camping World Truck Series:

Qualifying Format In The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series

In NASCAR Sprint Cup competition, the series will move to a 36-6-1 format, where the fastest 36 cars will make the race on speed. The next six (6) highest ranking cars in owners points that have not already earned a starting position through qualifying, and who have entered the event by the posted entry deadline, will also make the field. The final starting position will be awarded to the most recent eligible past champion driver. If there is no eligible past champion driver, then a seventh car will make the field based upon owners’ points. Provisional positions in the 36-6-1 format will be lined up by owners’ points, not speed.

In 2013, the qualifying order for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events will return to a random draw. However, in the event qualifying is canceled due to rain, the field will be set per the rule book and the starting lineup will continue to be determined by practice speeds.

Additionally, provisional positions in the NASCAR Sprint Cup, NASCAR Nationwide and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will be based upon the previous year’s owner points for the first three races, as opposed to the first five races in previous years for the NASCAR Sprint Cup and the NASCAR Nationwide Series, and four races for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.

Testing Policy Opened Up For 2013

Beginning next season in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, there will be up to four tests per organization available to teams at tracks at which the series competes. Since 2009, teams could only test at tracks that did not hold NASCAR national series events. For the NASCAR Nationwide and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, starting in 2013, there will be up to two tests per organization at tracks where those series compete. If the organization has an official Sunoco Rookie of Year candidate, then that team will receive one additional test. Additionally, NASCAR will open track activity early for extended practice at two additional events per series, to be determined.

Maximum Field Set At 40 Cars For NASCAR Nationwide Series

In an effort to strengthen the ownership base, and create a sense of urgency among teams to make races, the maximum starting field for the NASCAR Nationwide Series will be set at 40, as opposed to the 43-car field in previous years. A maximum NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starting field will remain at 43 cars, while the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will hold steady at 36 trucks. (

At last NASCAR returns to putting the fastest 36 race cars in the race each week, instead of guaranteeing the top 35 in points a slot in the race.  Now it is a much more fair playing field, and rewards each team for their efforts in putting a fast race car on the track each weekend!

The downside to this rule change will have an effect on the sponsors, and the ability of race teams to try to recruit new sponsors.  There is less certainty that the team can guarantee the prospective sponsors that their race car will be in each and every race.


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