Saturday, February 11, 2006

Stupid is What Stupid Does

NASCAR is trying to shed some of its down home image by instilling thinking into the series. At least force teams, drivers and fans to do some thinking about what it takes to qualify for the Daytona 500. The equation requires a Ph.D, although any old doctorate will do.

If a team finished in the top 35 in last year’s Nextel Cup standings, then they automatically get a free pass into this year’s 500. All teams will participate in two lap qualifying runs on Sunday, in which only the top two lock in the top two spots (of 43) on the starting grid.

The remaining fifty-four drivers may then participate in one of two 150-mile qualifying races. The holdover 35 from the previous season and the fast two leftovers from the qualifying races fill out spots 3 through 39.

The fastest remaining drivers from Sunday's time trials will then complete the field -- with one possible exception. The final spot in the field would go to a former Cup champion who doesn't make the lineup on speed or in the qualifying races. The only former champions not among the 35 already guaranteed a starting spot are Bill Elliott (1988) and Terry Labonte (1984, 1996).

Confused? Think about how Roscoe P. Coaltrain and Enos feel.


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