DAYTONA, Fla. (February 21, 2014) – Brad Keselowski and the No. 22 Discount Tire Ford team will start from the 17th position in tomorrow’s DRIVE4COPD 300 at Daytona International Speedway. The championship winning team and driver were a part of history in the making as the NASCAR Nationwide Series debuted a new elimination style qualifying procedure.
The new format, which consists of three sessions that progressively narrow the field until the pole winner is determined in the last segment, was shortened by rain as the first session was red flagged for passing showers. After the track was dried, the first session was completed, which was enough to set the field under the new rules. An attempt was made to run the segment session, but the rain won out.
Keselowski and the No. 22 Discount Tire Ford Mustang had a best lap of 47.407 seconds at 189.845 miles per hour, which landed them in the 17th position for Saturday afternoon’s race.
“That was a very interesting qualifying session for us,” said Keselowski. “We had a couple of close calls out there in the last part of the session. There was a lot of disparity in speed between the different groups of cars, and it was a challenge to time a run and manage a clean lap. Our Discount Tire Ford is always fast, and I am happy with our Mustang. Racing at Daytona is always enjoyable and I expect to have some fun tomorrow.”
The DRIVE4COPD 300 will be broadcast live tomorrow Saturday, February 22 at 1:15pm ET on ESPN. The race will also air on MRN and SiriusXM Radio.
Below is a summary of the new qualifying procedure.
The first qualifying elimination round will be 25 minutes in duration and includes all cars. The 24 cars that post the fastest single lap from the first qualifying round will advance to the second round.
The remaining cars will be sorted based on their times posted in the first round of qualifying in descending order.
The second qualifying elimination round will be 10 minutes in duration and the 12 cars that post the fastest single lap time will advance to the third and final round. The fastest remaining cars earn positions 13th through 24th based on their times posted in qualifying in descending order.
The third and final qualifying round will be five minutes in duration and the fastest single lap time will determine positions 1st through 12th in descending order.