NASCAR increases provisionals DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 23, 1998) In response to increased interest among NASCAR Winston Cup Series race teams to compete in the full 33-race schedule, NASCAR has increased the number of "provisional ...
NASCAR increases provisionals
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 23, 1998) In response to increased interest among NASCAR Winston Cup Series race teams to compete in the full 33-race schedule, NASCAR has increased the number of "provisional starting positions" available at each event from four to a guaranteed seven positions, while maintaining a maximum starting field of 43 cars.
Beginning with the 1998 season-opening Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on Feb. 15, no less than six starters will be determined using the top-40 positions in the 1997 NASCAR Winston Cup Series car owners' point standings, while a seventh "provisional" starting position will be available to a car owner who has a former NASCAR Winston Cup Series champion as his driver, if he has not otherwise qualified.
Another adjustment will involve transferring the "past champion's provisional" to a seventh provisional starter based on criteria listed in each NASCAR Winston Cup Series event entry blank, if a past champion does not need the spot. The Daytona 500 uses a unique qualifying formula using a Bud Pole Award Qualifying session and two Gatorade 125-Mile Qualifying Races to set the field for the "Great American Race."
Beginning with the Feb. 22 GM Goodwrench Service 400 at the North Carolina Motor Speedway in Rockingham, the starting field for each subsequent race through the first four races will be set as follows: The top-25 positions will be determined in Bud Pole Qualifying, positions 26-36 will be set in Bud Beer Second-Round Qualifying, positions 37-42 will be determined using the top-40 in the 1997 car owners' point standings and a 43rd position will be the "past champion's provisional." If a former champion does not need the spot, the 43rd position will be set using criteria from the event's entry blank, such as the next car owner in the top-40 in points who has not made the race.
Beginning with the fifth NASCAR Winston Cup Series race of the season, the top-40 in the 1998 car owners' point standings will be used to determine provisional starters.
"This is part of our effort to try and assist the teams that have made a commitment to run the full NASCAR Winston Cup Series schedule," said NASCAR Director of Operations Kevin Triplett. "We may have as many as 48 teams attempting to run the full schedule, so we have to make a commitment to maintain a full field of cars by revising the provisional system."
Triplett said the system had been adjusted a number of times in recent years as necessary, most recently moving from two to four provisionals, and adding the "past champion's provisional."
Source: NASCAR Online