How Does Nascar Determine the Starting Lineup?

nascar-determine-starting-lineup Credit: Brian Marshall/CC-BY 2.0

NASCAR uses multiple formats to determine the starting lineup for its races. For all races except the Daytona 500, NASCAR uses group qualifying. Tracks shorter than 1.25 miles use two-round group qualifying, while tracks longer than 1.25 miles use three-round group qualifying.

In group qualifying, all the cars race around the track for a set amount of time. The cars with the fastest lap time move on to the next round, while the remaining cars are positioned by lap time at the end of the field. Depending on the length of the track, the number of cars advancing and number of rounds varies.

The Daytona 500 uses group qualifying to set the front row for the race and the starting positions for the duels races. The duels races determine the remaining starting order.