NASCAR updates Sprint Cup Series race eligibility – Nascar
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – NASCAR today announced updated procedures for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race eligibility and new provisional starting guidelines for races during the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.
Starting with Saturday night’s Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola at Daytona International Speedway (7:45 p.m. ET, NBC, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio), current-year owner points will replace practice speeds for determining race eligibility and starting position in the event adverse conditions prevent Coors Light Pole Qualifying from taking place. Starting in 2017, for the second and third events of the season, practice speeds for Open teams will remain the criteria used to determine race eligibility.
NASCAR also announced that Open teams that earn a berth in the Chase will be awarded a provisional starting position for every Chase race, guaranteeing those teams an opportunity to compete for the championship in NASCAR’s playoffs.
“These changes provide a more even competition field for both Charter and Open teams, rewarding strong performances over the course of a season,” said Jim Cassidy, NASCAR senior vice president, racing operations. “Earning a berth in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup is extremely difficult and requires consistent elite performance. Those teams should be guaranteed an opportunity to race for the title, and this ensures that will be the case.”
The creation of provisional starting positions for Open teams that earn a berth in the Chase has been discussed extensively with industry stakeholders.