Since their return to racing in May, NASCAR has held events to a single day with no practice or qualifying with the exception of the NASCAR Cup Series race at the Charlotte Motor Speedway for the Coca-Cola 600 and the inaugural Xfinity Series road course race in Indianapolis.
On July 21, NASCAR announced that for the remainder of the 2020 racing season the current practice for racing events will continue in all three racing series – NASCAR Cup, Xfinity, and the Gander RV and Outdoors Truck Series. No practice or qualifying sessions will be held.
As the uncertainty surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic continues, NASCAR is looking to continue current safety protocols that include keeping travel and shop teams separate, at track temperature testing, universal masking of everyone at the track, limiting the number of personnel per team at the track, and single day racing events.
While several of the drivers have noted that the lack of practice has caused some issues for them, NASCAR Senior Vice President of Competition Scott Miller said, “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.”
Miller noted that to add practice and qualifying events for the races requires an increase in at track personnel and a bigger risk of failure when it comes to safety protocols.
Currently, the starting grid is determined by a random draw based on car (or truck) owner points with one through 12 going first, 13 through 24 next, 25 through 36, and then the remainder of the field – 37 to 40. Miller has suggested that perhaps the playoff drivers will get a first choice once the playoff races begin in September.