SPARTA, Ky. - Kentucky Speedway's rough 1.5-mile racing test will get a bit rougher for NASCAR national series drivers when they qualify for the venue's June 26-28 events under this season's new group elimination format.

Competitors, such as current Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) track qualifying record holder Dale Earnhardt Jr., will be tested through three rounds of qualifying on NASCAR's roughest track as they battle for the best starting positions for the June 28 Quaker State 400 presented by Advance Auto Parts,June 27 300-mile NASCAR Nationwide Series event and June 26 Camping World Truck Series UNOH 225.

NASCAR is making the change from its traditional two-lap, single-car format to enhance the fan experience and closely emulate on-track competition.

"We believe the timing is right for a new qualifying format across our three national series.

"This style of group qualifying has all the makings of being highly competitive and more engaging to our fans in the stands as well as those watching on television and online.

"For the drivers and teams, we believe this new qualifying will fuel even greater competition leading into the events. Additionally, it provides our tracks, broadcasters and other key partners with a greater opportunity to develop more entertaining content for our race weekends," Robin Pemberton, NASCAR vice president for competition and racing development, said.

Details of the formats for racetracks measuring 1.25 miles and longer as well as for those shorter than 1.25 miles follow:

Format for racetracks 1.25 miles and longer:

  • The first elimination round will last 25 minutes and include entries. The 24 cars / trucks that post the fastest single laps will advance to the second round. Remaining cars / trucks will be slotted on the starting grid in descending order based on the best times.

 

  • The second elimination round will last 10 minutes and the 12 fastest cars / trucks that turn the fastest single laps will advance to the third and final round. The fastest remaining cars / trucks earn positions 13th through 24th on the starting grid in descending order based on times.

 

  • The final qualifying round will last five minutes. The car with the fastest single-lap time will earn the event pole position and positions two through 12 will be slotted on the starting grid in descending order based on times.

 

  • There will be a five-minute breaks between each qualifying round during which teams will be permitted to make adjustments to cars/trucks. Teams will qualify on one set of tires.

 Format for racetracks shorter than 1.25 miles:

  • The first qualifying elimination round last 30 minutes and includes all cars / trucks. The 12 cars / trucks that post the fastest single-lap times advance to the second and final round. Remaining cars / trucks will be slotted on the starting grid in descending order based on times.

 

  • There will be a 10-minute break between the two qualifying rounds during which teams will be permitted to make adjustments on cars / trucks.

 

  • The second and final qualifying round will last 10 minutes. The car / truck which turns the quickest single lap will earn the event pole position and positions two through 12 will be slotted on the grid in descending order based on lap times.

 

  • Teams will qualify on one set of tires.

The new qualifying format will not be in place for the Feb. 23 Daytona 500, non-points  Sprint Cup Series events such as the Sprint All-Star Race, or the Camping World Truck Series  event at Eldora Speedway.

Tickets and campsites for all Kentucky Speedway events are on sale now and can be purchased through the Tickets and Camping pages of this website, by calling (859) 578-2300 or visiting the speedway ticket office at 1 Speedway Drive in Sparta, Ky., just off Interstate 71 Exit 57 and Ky. Hwy. 35 N.

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