The choose cone will begin this weekend; New starting lineup format coming as well
The NASCAR Playoffs are just around the corner. The post season begins at Darlinton Raceway on September 6th.
The choose cone is set to be in place. Additionally, the starting lineup format will change in the near future.
Today, NASCAR announced two new procedural changes that will be in place for all three NASCAR National Series divisions. One of those begin this weekend at Michigan International Speedway.
“Considering feedback from teams, drivers and fans, NASCAR has implemented these changes to enhance competition as we approach the Playoffs,” said Scott Miller, NASCAR senior vice president of competition.
“We received nothing but positive comments from the drivers on the choose rule following the All-Star Race, and felt it was an important addition to the restart procedure. The random draw has served us well during the return to racing, but it is important that starting lineups are based on performance as we approach the Playoffs.”
Miller added, “The entire industry is aligned on implementing a competition-based system to determine the starting lineup and pit selection order.”
The choose rule was tested during the NASCAR All-Star Race at Bristol Motor Speedway. It allows drivers to pick a lane after they exit the pit lane following a pit stop.
If the first four drivers pick the outside lane, the 5th car has the option to start on the inside front row for the restart. This is in place after every pit stop.
The choose cone will be in place this weekend. It will be in place for all races except the Daytona Road Course and Talladega Superspeedway.
Previously, we saw cars stopping at the end of the pit lane. They would let a car go by before the pit exit line. It was a sloppy way for drivers to pick inside or outside line.
However, this caused stackups and accidents at the pit exit as sometimes both lanes would stop, blocking the pit exit. This was especially true at places like Martinsville Speedway where the inside lane is dominant.
Setting the new NASCAR starting lineup
NASCAR will be introducing a new procedure for the starting lineup. That new procedure will begin at the Daytona International Speedway road course on August 16th.
A random draw is fair, in theory. However, it’s also unfair to the fast teams who earned their right to start at the front.
Season long performance as well as single race performance will play a factor in the starting positions.
New criteria: Points position will be weighted at 35%; finishing position at 50%; fastest race lap at 15%.
Starting Lineup in Playoffs: When the Playoffs begin, Playoff cars will fill the top starting positions. For instance, in the Round of 16, the top 16 starting positions will be Playoff cars; in the Round of 12, the top 12 starting positions will be Playoff cars; and so on.