NASCAR announced Wednesday that they have scraped group qualifying for all three series starting this weekend at Dover. Instead, each series will now have single-car qualifying at every track except road courses where group qualifying will still be used. A huge blow to anyone with eyes.
This is a massive overreaction by NASCAR following Cup teams failing to set a time in Q3 earlier this season. NASCAR absolutely should not have reverted to single-car qualifying. It’s literally the least interesting option that was on the table and that’s what they went with.
Why NASCAR Should Have Kept Group Qualifying
The entire 2019 season is based on the high drag package NASCAR has slapped on Cup cars. They want the cars to run closer together, draft, etc. Drafting is a massive part of this package, all we hear about on 1.5-mile or larger tracks is how much of a difference the draft can make. Why would you not want that to be part of qualifying?
The point of qualifying is for the fastest car to sit on pole? With this package the car that drafts the best is the fastest car. Meaning group qualifying should have stayed. Because now the fastest car by itself sits on pole. That’s contrary to what we were told about this package however. Now of course I know the package hasn’t raced as NASCAR thought. Texas was really the first track it even remotely worked at. Nevertheless, drafting should be a factor in qualifying.
“Drivers were too dependent on the draft in qualifying” uhh yeah guys. The fix they had at Texas where you had to put a time in the final round or you started at the back is exactly what the rules should be. Fans thought for some reason complained about cars waiting until the final minute to run. Ok? It’s a 5-minute session and all 12 cars take to the track for the final minute and set down times with names jumping around the leaderboard. Yet that wasn’t exciting for fans and teams.
Why Did Xfinity and Short Tracks Lose Group Qualifying?
The Xfinity Series will also lose group qualifying which is remarkably stupid as well. There’s no controversy with their qualifying. Yet here they are like wtf, man?
And then short tracks lost group qualifying as well? Why did short tracks ever do to not deserve an entertaining show? At Richmond, NASCAR experimented with three 5-minute rounds and it was perfect. Wrap it all up in 20ish minutes. But noooooo we have to drag this out now with single-car qualifying.
We’re not far from NASCAR qualifying not being shown on TV. If NASCAR shortens the schedule in 2021 and has to renegotiate with TV networks there’s a legit possibility qualifying will be moved to streaming only. No one wants to tune in for single car runs.
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