DAYTONA 500 NOTES FOR tHURSDAY, FEB. 15, 1996 THE DAYTONA 500 -- HOW TO SET THE STARTING LINEUP The determination of the starting lineup for the Daytona 500 is unique in NASCAR Winston Cup racing. Because of the methods used, the final...
DAYTONA 500 NOTES FOR tHURSDAY, FEB. 15, 1996
THE DAYTONA 500 -- HOW TO SET THE STARTING LINEUP
The determination of the starting lineup for the Daytona 500 is unique in NASCAR Winston Cup racing. Because of the methods used, the final determination isn't made until the completion of the Gatorade 125-Mile Qualifying Races. Busch Pole Award Qualifying determines the first two starting positions in the Daytona 500. The fastest two cars in that qualifying session are "locked" into the Busch Pole position and outside pole position for the Daytona 500. In addition, these cars start on the poles for the Gatorade 125-Mile Qualifying Races: The Busch Pole Award winner starting first in the first race and the outside pole winner starting first in the second race. The Busch Pole Award winner is the first driver to qualify for the subsequent year's Busch Clash. Additional qualifying rounds for NASCAR Winston Cup teams are scheduled Monday and Tuesday. A driver may stand on his time from either Saturday's or Monday's round but, once standing, may not re- qualify. The Gatorade 125-Mile Qualifying Races on Thursday determine starting positions 3-30 in the Daytona 500. The lineups for the Gatorade 125's are set with the cars qualifying in the first round starting in front of the cars qualifying in the second round, which start in front of the cars qualifying in the third round, regardless of their qualifying speeds. The first Gatorade 125 determines the inside row of the starting grid. In other words, excluding the Daytona 500 Busch Pole winner, the top finisher will start third; next-highest will start fifth; next-highest, seventh; etc.; through 29th. In the second Gatorade 125, excluding the Daytona 500 outside pole winner, the top finisher will start fourth; next-highest will start sixth; next-highest, eighth; etc.; through 30th. Starting positions 31-38 are determined by the fastest qualifying speeds, irrespective of the day posted and excluding the 30 cars already in the field. The eight cars with the fastest official qualifying speeds fill the final positions. Starting positions 39-42 are provisional starting positions available to any car owner in the top 40 of the final NASCAR Winston Cup Series point standings from the previous year who has not made the field. These positions are based on car owner points, not driver points and not qualifying speeds. A 43rd provisional starting position may be added for any car owner with a past NASCAR Winston Cup champion as his driver. In the event two or more drivers are eligible for this position, the most recent NASCAR Winston Cup champion will take this spot. A definite 38 cars will start the Daytona 500. Depending on provisionals, the final starting field could be 39, 40, 41, 42 or 43 cars.