The remainder of the 2020 season for NASCAR Cup, Xfinity and Trucks will be run without practice and qualifying, the sanctioning body announced Tuesday. NASCAR also stated it will “adjust” the starting lineup draw procedures for playoff races.
In a statement, Scott Miller, NASCAR senior vice president of competition, said:
“Following discussions with our race teams and the broader industry, NASCAR will continue to conduct its race weekends without practice and qualifying for the remainder of the 2020 season in all three national series. The current format has worked well in addressing several challenges during our return to racing. Most importantly, we have seen competitive racing week-to-week. NASCAR will adjust the starting lineup draw procedure for the Playoff races, and will announce the new process at a later date.”
Cup has not had practice since its season resumed in May. It had qualifying only for the Coca-Cola 600. The rest of the races, the starting lineup has been determined by a random draw or inversion from a previous race. The Xfinity Series had two practice sessions the day before its inaugural race on the road course at Indianapolis.
With no practice and qualifying, it means that the first lap at speed for drivers on the Daytona road course next month will be when the green flag waves. Denny Hamlin and Clint Bowyer had both said recently that they wanted even a limited practice session for that event, which marks the first time Cup, Xfinity and Trucks have raced on Daytona’s road course.
Miller said Monday on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio that series officials were looking at setting the starting lineup differently in the playoffs.
“Maybe still some kind of a draw, but obviously, probably something that encompasses the playoff cars in one lot and the rest of the field in another,” he said on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
Currently in Cup, drivers whose teams are 1-12 in car owner points draw for starting positions 1-12. Those with teams that are 13th to 24th in owner points, draw for those starting spots. Those with teams that are 25th-36th, draw for those starting spots.
Though it's become relatively second nature (and produced solid results), it still is mind-blowing to ponder that, in four months, the Cup championship will be decided among four guys who strap into their cars for the first time all weekend about 10-15 minutes ahead of the green. https://t.co/HuJKEBmrai
— Nate Ryan (@nateryan) July 21, 2020