NASCAR strongly considering single-car version of qualifying for Talladega

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After a mostly disastrous run of group qualifying for restrictor-plate races, NASCAR is considering a hybrid version more similar to the traditional format.

As first reported Tuesday morning by Jim Utter of the Charlotte Observer, there is a strong possibility that single-car qualifying will be used for the May 3 race at Talladega Superspeedway. A NASCAR official confirmed Tuesday to NASCAR Talk that it still could feature a knockout format with multiple attempts and rounds.

There also could be multiple cars on track but likely not in the formation of packs that have caused problems at Talladega and Daytona International Speedway.

The format made its Daytona 500 debut last month to a torrent of criticism from Sprint Cup stars after a wreck in qualifying. Last October at Talladega, several cars failed to post a speed, resulting in Ricky Stenhouse Jr. missing the race.

NASCAR still is reviewing the policy change with drivers, teams and tracks.

Though the Daytona 500 field is set by twin qualifying races after the top two slots are determined by speed, heat races apparently aren’t under consideration for the restrictor-plate races.

There will be a small tweak in qualifying this weekend at Martinsville Speedway. Teams were notified by bulletin Tuesday that NASCAR will add five minutes to the first round of group qualifying at short tracks and intermediate tracks to help ensure all competitors earn a clean lap.