Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series teams will no longer be required to start the race on used qualifying sets; Other changes
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series teams will no longer be required to start the race with the tires on which they qualified, according to Wednesday’s official NASCAR Rule Book update.
Starting on the qualifying set will be optional beginning with the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 27 (6 p.m. ET, FOX, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).
Teams will be allotted four sets of practice and qualifying tires moving forward, with the exception of superspeedway events, which will have three sets. For enhanced weekend and superspeedway events, teams will be allowed to carry over their qualifying set to the race. If teams do not put laps on their qualifying set, teams will then be required to carry over a scuff practice set for the race.
Wednesday’s rule book update also reflects that teams have been granted one less set of tires for practice and qualifying, and one more set for the race.
For example, teams were allotted five total sets for practice and qualifying tires at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in March. When teams return to Las Vegas in September for the first race of the NASCAR Playoffs, four sets will be permitted.
— NASCAR —
Editors Note: This is also likely a deterrent for skipping qualifying all together. In the past few months there have been multiple issues with teams getting through pre-qualifying inspection. In some of those situations, it’s possible that teams failed inspections on purpose.
To some, that might be a positive thing at certain tracks. Previously, other teams go through 3 rounds of qualifying on the same set of tires. Meanwhile, cars that failed to make it through qualifying inspection would start at the tail of the field with brand new tires.
This new rule eliminates any possible advantage for skipping qualifying as everybody in the field will new start the race on new tires.