Race Weekend Central

NASCAR Nixing Practice, Qualifying for Rest of 2020

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NASCAR announced Tuesday (July 21) that the rest of the 2020 schedule will not feature practice or qualifying for any of the three major series.

The sport’s top three divisions have mostly run without either for the last two months, in order to limit exposure and activity at the track amid the coronavirus pandemic. The only exceptions were the Cup Series’ qualifying session for the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway and the Xfinity Series’ practice sessions for the circuit’s first race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s road course.

“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,” NASCAR’s Senior Vice President of Competition Scott Miller said in a release. “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.”

The prime outlier in the remainder of 2020 is the Daytona International Speedway road course. All three series will start the races there essentially blind, with no practice or qualifying to acclimate the drivers. Drivers are also only allowed to compete in one series that weekend.

The lack of qualifying has largely been a non-issue, save for a pair of Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series entry lists and one Cup entry list that saw entry amounts larger than the allotted field.

About the author

Adam Cheek joined Frontstretch as a contributing writer in January 2019. A 2020 graduate of VCU, he works as a producer and talent for Audacy Richmond's radio stations. In addition to motorsports journalism, Adam also covered and broadcasted numerous VCU athletics for the campus newspaper and radio station during his four years there. He's been a racing fan since the age of three, inheriting the passion from his grandfather, who raced in amateur events up and down the East Coast in the 1950s.

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guess ol’ kyle busch wont be too happy.

Bill B

You know, I miss watching qualifying and, to a lesser degree, the practice sessions, but knowing that no practice affects Kyle negatively almost makes it worth it. :)

David Edwards

The real question is, now that its been shown that the show can get along without it quite nicely why change in 2021.

Bill B

No qualifying and no practices result in about 4 to 6 hours less programing per week for the networks. That will make the value of the TV contract less valuable.

Plus it would be nice to get rid of those pesky competition cautions due to no practice time.




This. Kind of hypocritical to have Xfinity practice at the unknown Indy road course but not the unknown Daytona Road course


The only issue I have with this is that sometimes the unthinkable happens in practice, forcing a team (or teams) to have to go to a backup car. It stretches the teams’ abilities and forces the cream to rise to the occasion. Or, not….

Tom B

I don’t see why the cars can’t go out on the track after the Competitive Advantage Inspection for 15 minutes to see if the brakes work, any oil leaks, loose nuts or tires going flat. What’s the harm? It would be for safety.

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