posted on Jan, 17 2005 @ 02:10 PM
NASCAR revamped its qualifying procedures on Thursday, guaranteeing a spot in a Nextel Cup race to the top 35 drivers in the points standings. The
next seven positions in the starting field will be awarded to drivers with the fastest qualifying speeds who are not among the top 35 in points. The
43rd and final starting position will still be reserved for a current or past Nextel Cup champion.
The system eliminates the old procedure of teams accruing provisionals throughout the season to gain entry into the starting fields. If a driver
didn't qualify in the top 35 on speed, he had to use one of his provisionals to get in.
When the provisionals ran out, the driver was sent home for the weekend no matter where he stood in the points standings.
The new qualifying system will not begin until the sixth race of the season. Through the first five races, the top 35 in the standings of the 2004
points system will be assured a starting spot.