NASCAR to Drop Top 35 Rule

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NASCAR will eliminate the Top 35 rule next year in addition to other qualifying procedure changes for the 2013 season.

Although no official announcement has come from the sanctioning body, several drivers indicated changes would take place after a Saturday morning meeting at Talladega Superspeedway.

Rather than locking in the Top 35 drivers each week based on owner points, NASCAR will return to its previous system of filling Sprint Cup Series races with the fastest 36 drivers in each week’s qualifying session.

The remaining seven spots will be filled by provisional using the current point standings as well as one spot for a former series champion.

There will be no limit as to how many times a driver can use a qualifying provisional.

Ryan Newman said the debut of the new 2013 Sprint Cup Series car next season will eliminate the fear of top teams missing out on each week’s race through qualifying.

''I don't think that it's going to be a big issue at all to start the season because with the new cars, I don't see us having an extra surplus of cars,'' said Newman. ''I don't see 48 or 50 cars each and every week. I see 43, maybe 44, so I don't think it's going to be a deal-breaker at all.''

NASCAR will also scrap the procedure of setting up qualifying order based on practice speeds. A return to a random draw is expected, which will eliminate some of the manipulation and maneuvering the practice speed policy created.

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