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NASCAR to use passing points to help set Bristol Dirt lineups for Cup, Trucks

Steve Letarte is joined by NASCAR crew chief Adam Stevens, who talks about his transition from Kyle Busch's team to Christopher Bell's, his journey to the Cup Series and more.

NASCAR will use passing points and finishing position in the qualifying heat races to determine the starting lineups for its Cup and Camping World Truck Series races later this month on the Bristol Motor Speedway dirt track.

“We just wanted to add some elements in setting the lineup for the future that were from the roots of dirt track racing,” said Scott Miller, NASCAR senior vice president of competition. “I think it will be fun.”

Truck and Cup each will have two practice sessions on March 26. The Trucks will have their heat races and their feature event on March 27. The Truck feature race will be at 8 p.m. ET on FS1. Cup teams will have their qualifying races on March 27. The Cup feature is March 28 (3:30 p.m. ET on Fox).

The Cup race marks the first time NASCAR’s premier series has raced on dirt since 1970.

NASCAR also unveiled other details Wednesday for the races.

Here is how the starting lineup will be set:

  • Heat Race Starting Lineup – Random draw determines heat race designation and starting position for the heat race. The draw will be in order of current owner points.
  • Qualifying Heat Races – Four qualifying races held at 15 laps each with only green flag laps counted – no overtime rule. Free pass and wave around procedures will be in effect.
  • Passing Points – Drivers will accumulate points in the heat races based on finishing position and passing points. The points total determines the starting position for the feature event.

    • Passing Points - The difference between assigned starting position and finishing position

      • Go forward – accumulate passing points
      • Go backward or finish where you started – zero passing points
      • Tiebreaker - owner points
    • Finishing points - Winner of each qualifying heat race gets 10 points with nine points for second and down to 1 point for 10th.

      Other race details:

      • Feature – Lineup based on combined points of Heat Race finishing position and passing points. Feature race will be 250 laps (Truck race is 150 laps) divided into three stages (Cup: 75/150/250) / (Trucks: 40/90/150). Running order will be frozen at the conclusion of each stage. During the stage breaks, teams can change tires, add fuel and make adjustments to their cars/trucks. These non-competitive pit stops must be completed in a time designated by NASCAR that is to be determined. No fuel or tires except at stage breaks. (Note: Teams will not be required to pit during the stage breaks. Teams that elect not to pit will re-start ahead of teams that pitted. Re-start order determined by the freeze at the conclusion of the preceding stage)
      • Additional Event Highlights – Choose rule will not be in effect for the Bristol Dirt race. The overtime rules, free pass and wave around procedures will be in effect.