2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series

Beginning this year, NASCAR eliminated traditional single car qualifying in its top 3 series for all races except the Daytona 500, the Mudsummer Classic, and non-points events.

Qualifying will now be done in a Formula One-style knockout qualifying. For all tracks larger than 1.25 miles in length, qualifying will consist of all entered cars on track for 25 minutes.

The fastest 24 move onto a 10-minute session, while the final 12 drivers compete for the overall pole in a 5-minute session. For tracks shorter than 1.25 miles as well as road courses, all entered cars will qualify in a 30-minute session, while the 12 fastest will compete in a final 10 minute session.

A similar system involving groups of cars being released at five-second intervals was used at Sonoma Raceway and Watkins Glen International in 2013.

The rule was modified slightly for restrictor plate races (other than the Daytona 500, which maintains its single car pole qualifying and Budweiser Duel qualifying races) beginning at Talladega in the October race. During sessions at restrictor plate tracks, such as at Talladega's spring race, drivers had either ridden around the track at slow speeds or stopped on pit road for several minutes to avoid aiding others in the draft.

In an effort to avoid this, a new procedure was implemented:.

On January 30, 2014, NASCAR announced radical changes to the format for the season-ending Chase for the Sprint Cup.

The 2014 schedule had a few changes from the 2013 schedule, all of them among the first fifteen races. The dates for the spring races at Darlington Raceway and Kansas Speedway (Bojangles' Southern 500 and 5-hour Energy 400 respectively) were swapped, giving Kansas its first primetime Sprint Cup race, Texas Motor Speedway's spring race was changed from a Saturday night to a Sunday afternoon race for this year only due to conflicts with the NCAA basketball finals, it and Martinsville Speedway's STP 500 were moved up a week, the new Darlington date moved to Texas's original spot on the schedule, and the spring off-weekend moved to Kansas' original date, to coincide with Easter.

(Source: Wikipedia)