Daytona 500 champ Joey Logano approves of revised restrictor-plate qualifying format


DALLAS – Daytona 500 champion Joey Logano applauds NASCAR’s announcement that it will debut a new qualifying format for its three national series at the restrictor-place tracks of Daytona International Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway.

Instead of group qualifying, NASCAR will limit the number of cars on the track at a given moment and each driver will be allowed a one-lap attempt.

“I think that’s good, because if any of you guys watched Daytona and they way we qualified, that was a complete cluster,” said Logano during Texas Motor Speedway’s Media Day at the House of Blues in downtown Dallas. “So this should be a lot better. This is something that all of the drivers have talked about.”

The move came after drivers, including Denny Hamlin and Clint Bowyer, were critical of the format after both were involved in a wreck during Daytona 500 pole qualifying in February. A couple of spotters also shared how they felt about the new procedure this week.

“We’ve tried to find the happy medium where we can make this qualifying at superspeedways exciting,” Logano said. “Yet we want it to be able to showcase what our teams do and show who is the fastest car there and that’s what qualifying is all about. We don’t want to take that aspect away from qualifying at superspeedways.”

Logano and his No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil team have been among the best in qualifying, making it to the final round for eight straight races from last fall’s Martinsville race to Phoenix, the fourth race of this season. Through the first six races of 2015, Logano has started on the front row four times, including two poles.

The new qualifying format will debut for the May 3 Geico 500 at Talladega. Xfinity qualifying is scheduled for 10 a.m. ET on May 2 there. Sprint Cup qualifying is scheduled for noon ET that day.