In an effort to save money and reduce travel for Cup drivers, NASCAR officials opted to try a new two-day weekend schedule at Pocono.
The schedule change did away with practice and qualifying sessions on Friday, and it allowed drivers to qualify and attempt to win the pole just hours before the race on Sunday.
So Kyle Busch, who won the race on Sunday, also won the pole earlier that day instead of on Friday.
“I wouldn’t mind more days like that,” Busch said via FOX Business. “With my Xfinity and Truck efforts getting cut back more and more each year, that’s going to be more Fridays at home with my son. That’s going to be more fun for us drivers.”
NASCAR is trying the two-day skinny schedule again this weekend at Watkins Glen International. Instead of practices and qualifying on Friday, the track is hosting a fan fest and country music concert. Pocono did something similar last Friday night instead of qualifying.
Kevin Harvick is also on board with the change, and he said it is better for “quality of life” for his crew by giving them an extra day with their families.
“If we can add that up 10, 15, 20 weekends, that’s two or three weeks that you can keep those guys at home and let them spend some time with their families and kids and wives,” Harvick said. “Everybody is just gone so much, it’s almost becoming harder and harder – it is becoming harder and harder – to hire people because it is such a grind.”
If the skinny schedule saves money for drivers and their teams, NASCAR officials could look to make the change permanent in the near future. They will likely test it out a few more times and consult with drivers before making it official.
(h/t FOX Business)