Martinsville Speedway has followed in Pocono Raceway’s footsteps by having same-day qualifying during the track’s Fall Monster Enegery NASCAR Cup race.
After a crash-filled weekend of NASCAR action at Daytona International Speedway, the attention now shifts to Atlanta. Atlanta Motor Speedway will follow the traditional qualifying format for the Cup Series this weekend. However, Martinsville Speedway will use same-day qualifying, like Pocono Raceway previously announced this year, for its fall Monster Energy Series race this season.
Drivers are used to qualifying and races taking place on the same day in both the Camping World Truck Series and XFINITY Series. Yet this change is different for drivers in the top circuit and racing fans who only pay attention to those in the main series.
Like with any change there are pros and cons to them. However, it makes sense for NASCAR to try to provide consistency across the top three circuits. The sporting federation’s new rules relating to stage lengths and damaged cars has helped bring more consistency across the top series.
Martinsville’s same-day qualifying announcement only applies to the October race. July’s race qualifying at Martinsville will still be on a different day than racing. October’s race’s qualifying session and race are only going to be separated by a few hours. This is good news for fans who like to see both qualifying and the race in person.
Racing at Martinsville is always interesting. As one of NASCAR’s shortest tracks, cars are easily lapped. Likewise, it’s a narrow track that barely allows cars to go two wide. It’s a unique track that requires drivers to be on their game. There isn’t much room for error, and one mistake can wipe out a field that is close together.
Same-day qualifying won’t allow drivers much time to make adjustments between then and the race. On the other hand, this move allows fans to only have to make one trip to the track to watch both qualifying and the event itself.