On June 23rd, the Sonoma Raceway will be the first race to try out the new qualifying procedure for road course races. The cars will qualify in groups instead of the traditional single-car qualifying held on each Sprint Cup Series track.

Here are the new qualifying rules for Sonoma and Watkins Glen:

~A car's best lap time during the group session will be the qualifying lap time on record.

~Group assignments will be based on final practice times.

~The group's time begins when the first car receives the green flag at the start/finish line.

~Each qualifying group will be on-track for a set period of time, determined by the series director.

~Cars attempting to qualify will be divided into groups. The number of groups, and number of cars in each, will depend on the number of cars that practice for the event.

Will Stallard @ Flickr
Will Stallard @ Flickr



This change is going to add an exciting element to road-course qualifying. It also becomes a new strategy and an increase in competition, with several cars on the track at once.

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