During their trip to the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California drivers attempted to outsmart and outmaneuver each other on round three of qualifying. As a result none of the top 12 drivers completed a lap putting Austin Dillon on the pole with his round two qualifying speed.
Noting that returning to single car qualifying like they do for the restrictor plate races would be a last result, NASCAR officials have made some changes to the group qualifying procedures.
The new changes will take place this weekend in Texas and will apply to all three of the racing series – Gander Outdoors Truck Series, Xfinity Series, and the Monster Energy Cup Series. NASCAR is looking to create order on pit road and provide an exciting qualify session for the fans.
Beginning this weekend in Texas, a driver must participate in all of the qualifying round in order to have his time recorded and accepted. Any driver who fails to complete all of the rounds will have to start the race from the back of the field.
Also an issue in Fontana was drivers parking at the end of pit road and blocking other drivers from entering the track. To that end, NASCAR has determined that in future any driver who blocks pit road will have to serve a penalty.
Beginning this weekend, any driver not exiting pit road for a qualifying run must remain in the NASCAR designated area until they are ready to leave pit road; at which time they must continue directly to the track.
Qualifying rounds will remain the same with round one lasting 10 minutes and rounds two and three lasting five minutes.