Opinion: 'Dega qualifying will be glorified practice session
MAY 02, 2014 12:27p ET
This is a really exciting weekend. We're going back to my home state of Alabama. Talladega is one of the coolest tracks on the circuit, and for the very first time in the history of NASCAR we are going to feature knockout qualifying on a restrictor-plate track.
Personally, I can't wait. Trust me, the biggest thing I've been watching is the forecast because I don't want Mother Nature involved at all this weekend.
To me this will be a whole new chapter in knockout qualifying and in NASCAR. There is so much we don't know here. We're going to see a lot of strategy, I believe, especially in that final round because it is only five minutes long. Realistically, that is only going to be cars up to speed for three or four laps.
I sure hope everyone remembers that where you qualify at Talladega is not the end of the world. It's just the way it works at a restrictor-plate race. You can come from the very back and win the race on the final lap.
I see this as a glorified practice session. You are going to see more strategy with a lot of teammates working together. The way to cut that fast lap is going to be a group of cars lined up catching another group of cars.
I also won't be the least bit surprised if we see a lot of identical times and ties for positions. Let's face it: If you are hooked together, your time is probably going to be the same.
I'm going out on a limb and say I won't be shocked either to see a tie for the pole. As most know, the tiebreaker in these cases is who is higher in the points. It's just really exciting for our sport.
Let me put it to you another way: It's so exciting that our bosses at FOX Sports have moved Talladega qualifying from FOX Sports 2 to Big FOX. That speaks volumes right there!