NASCAR Mailbag: Could heat races solve qualifying woes?
Welcome to the latest edition of the NASCAR Mailbag where we answer questions submitted to us by you the fans.
1. I am trying to get an answer to my question regarding qualifying in the Cup Series. I am a long-time fan but after watching the Duel races at Daytona and the qualifying fiasco at Fontana I would like an answer. I think a complete revamping of the current "timed" qualifying should be considered. Set up three 10 to 12 car heat races with a mandatory pit stop in each one. Top 5 in each will go to pole and and first 15 starting position 20 or 25 lap race. Pole race will also have a mandatory pit stop. I can guarantee that a lot more tickets will be sold if fans can come watch these qualifying races. Even the three tier system like there is now is much better than the old single car qualifying I think it could be so much more exciting and would pack those stands again. What do you think of this idea? Thanks for your reply - Phil Bakken
Heat races were used for Dash4Cash races in the Xfinity Series but turned out to be far less entertaining than people hoped. Mostly it's because these days there are generally only a couple cars entered more than the field maximum. When all or most people already know they will make the race there is far less incentive for competition in Heat races. However, NASCAR's Steve O'Donnell did float the idea of using all-star race qualifying for every race. All-Star Race qualifying consists of 3 laps on the track and a mandatory pit stop with no pit road speed limit. That would likely come closest to the ideas you are talking about. - Jim Utter
2. With the Gen 7 car scheduled to debut in 2021, when could fans start to see a prototype of the new car or testing? - JP
JP, we'll get to see at least two components of the 2021 rules package in this year's All-Star race. You can read more about that HERE. As for seeing the new prototype car in testing for public viewing, I think that will not happen at least until sometime in 2020. NASCAR and the OEM's might decide to wait and unveil the car to the general public after the 2020 season. - Tim Southers
3.Why did NASCAR mandate a "spec" engine in the Truck Series? Was it because Toyota was winning too many races? NASCAR has come a long way since it was known as "The Professional Wrestling of Motorsports." Witness the decline of once-dominant Hendrick Motorsports and the ascent of competing teams, now that Monster Energy Series rules enforcement is quantifiable and consistent. Still, this change to the Truck Series rules has the smell of insider politics all over it. - Robert
4. Any chance SHR brings the same Cup Series driver lineup for the 2020 season, or do you expect at least one change? Will Aric Almirola and Daniel Suarez return to SHR next season? I know Harvick and Bowyer are in a contract year, so they might potentially switch teams. Thanks, Zach
7. It's been years since the last time a leader of a race was on a lap of his own. But if a car say two laps ahead of second place and blows up would the second place car have to complete two more laps before the lap counter registered the current lap? - Craig
8. Hi, my name is Terry. I'm 56 years old and have been a race fan all my life, and a California local race car driver dirt track. My wife and I watch the Nascar race series all the time, very fun. My question is why don't they show the leader board running standings banner on the screen during the race? Watching the race on TV is a lot less enjoyable without it. Thank you for your time. - Terry
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