Sunday will be a busy day for Cup Series drivers as they begin the Round of 8 at Martinsville, and they are also qualifying for the race about two hours before it begins. It’s a lot to cram into a small amount of time, and NASCAR officials have decided to take a shortcut in regards to pit-stall selection order for the race.
NASCAR has decided to use qualifying from last week’s race at Kansas to determine the pit-stall selection order for Martinsville, which certainly could have an impact on Sunday’s race.
Four ESPN NASCAR analysts — Ricky Craven, Ryan McGee, Bob Pockrass and Matt Willis — all agreed that the decision to use qualifying from Kansas to determine the pit-stall order at Martinsville is a big mistake.
“This is dumb,” McGee said. “We finally have the one-day show I’ve been begging for and this is sitting there, in the way. File this in the drawer marked “There’s always one thing that makes you go, ‘Why?'” It’s a pretty full drawer.”
Craven, a former Cup Series driver, said it didn’t make any sense to him.
“Pit road selection at Martinsville is critical,” he said. “Nothing about competing at Martinsville translates to competing at Kansas. The whole concept seems convoluted. I haven’t figured out the logic behind this decision.”
Pockrass made the point that NASCAR officials can get pit-stalls together quickly when there are back-to-back races because of rain, and he said having Kansas qualifying impact Martinsville “seems wrong.”
Willis said they could at least use Friday’s practice speeds to determine the pit-stall order to give practice a little extra meaning.
It doesn’t seem to make too much sense to use qualifying at Kansas, but hopefully it won’t have a major impact on the race on Sunday.