News & Multimedia

New Qualifying Format For NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Highlights 2013 Competition Changes

NASCAR today announced a number of competition changes for the 2013 season, highlighted by a new qualifying format in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series that places a greater emphasis on speed.
Below is a breakdown of next season’s slate of competition updates…
Qualifying Format In The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
In NASCAR Sprint Cup competition, the series will move to a 36-6-1 format where the fastest 36 cars will make the race on speed.
The next six highest ranking cars in owners points that have not already earned a starting position through qualifying and who have entered the event by the posted entry deadline will also make the field. The final starting position will be awarded to the most recent eligible past champion driver. If there is no eligible past champion driver, then a seventh car will make the field based upon owners’ points.
Provisional positions in the 36-6-1 format will be lined up by owners’ points, not speed.
Since 2005, the top 35 cars in owners’ points were guaranteed a spot in the field. Now, only a maximum of seven cars will be locked into a given race.
“This is a big win for our fans,” said Robin Pemberton, NASCAR vice president of competition. “They’ll see the fastest cars earn their starting spots. This change adds intrigue, drama and excitement to qualifying.” 
In 2013, the qualifying order for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events will return to a random draw. However, in the event qualifying is canceled due to rain, the field will be set per the rule book and the starting lineup will continue to be determined by practice speeds.
Additionally, provisional positions in the NASCAR Sprint Cup, NASCAR Nationwide and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will be based upon the previous year’s owner points for the first three races, as opposed to the first five races in previous years for the NASCAR Sprint Cup and the NASCAR Nationwide Series, and four races for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
Testing Policy Opened Up For 2013
Beginning next season in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, there will be up to four tests per organization available to teams at tracks at which the series competes. Since 2009, teams could only test at tracks that did not hold NASCAR national series events.
“We feel like it’s time to open that up and allow the teams to manage their testing and get back to facilities that host our events,” said Pemberton. “We made the decision at the end of 2008 to restrict testing, primarily for economic reasons. Now we believe it will be best for the garage and for the tracks to have some testing return in 2013.”
For the NASCAR Nationwide and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, starting in 2013, there will be up to two tests per organization at tracks where those series compete.  If the organization has an official Sunoco Rookie of Year candidate, then that team will receive one additional test. Additionally, NASCAR will open track activity early for extended practice at two additional events per series, to be determined.
Maximum Field Set At 40 Cars For NASCAR Nationwide Series
In an effort to strengthen the ownership base up and create a sense of urgency among teams to make races, the maximum starting field for the NASCAR Nationwide Series will be set at 40, as opposed to the 43-car field in previous years.
A maximum NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starting field will remain at 43 cars while the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will hold steady at 36.

Show More Show Less
Now Viewing
New Qualifying Format For NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Highlights 2013 Competition Changes
New Qualifying Format For NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Highlights 2013 Competition Changes
Rule Places Greater Emphasis On Speed
Read More
Related Media
Kyle Busch
Monday Racing Roundup: Kyle Busch Wins NASCAR Sprint Cup Title at Homestead
Finishing off one of the most remarkable comebacks in NASCAR history—indeed, in the annals of sport—Kyle Busch won Sunday’s Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway and, with it, his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship.
Read More
Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Monday Racing Roundup: Championship Foursome Set
A serendipitous sequence of pit stops and a drizzle that turned into a downpour made a winner of Dale Earnhardt Jr. in Sunday night’s Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 at Phoenix International Raceway, the start of which was delayed from day to night by rain in the afternoon.
Read More
Hulman Terrace Club
New Hulman Terrace Club Offers Premium Seating for IMS Events
The Hulman Terrace Club, located on the outside of the front straightaway of the famed 2.5-mile oval past the exit of Turn 4, will feature more than 1,000 seats plus ADA-accessible seating for fans seeking a club option similar to what is offered at many other major U.S. stadiums. It’s the first new seating option at IMS in more than a decade and a key piece of the ongoing Project 100 initiative. Pre-sale registration is available here with tickets officially going on sale Dec. 1.
Read More
Jimmie Johnson
Monday Racing Roundup: Johnson Completes Texas Sweep
On Sunday, the six-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion completed a sweep of this year’s Texas Motor Speedway races, powering past hapless Brad Keselowski with three laps left to win the AAA Texas 500 for the fourth straight year.
Read More
Jeff Gordon
Monday Racing Roundup: Gordon Punches Ticket for Chase Finale
Long before Gordon held off Jamie McMurray in a two-lap run to the finish as darkness consumed the .526-mile short track, Kenseth ended polesitter Joey Logano’s remarkable run in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup by pile-driving Logano’s No. 22 Team Penske Ford, which was leading the race at the time, into the Turn 1 wall on Lap 454 of 500.
Read More
Items 1 - 5 of 664
Reserve one of our hospitality suites for your next event!
To start planning your event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway please fill out our Information Request Form or contact Laura Wyamn at (317) 492-8557 or email at
Latest Tweets
What is your Favorite @JourneyOfficial song? Come out to hear it for @MIllerLite Carb Day! #DontStopBelieving
about 18 hours ago