Saturday, February 7, 2009

Better know your go-or-go homers

Another season of fender-laden America oval racing is upon us. That means it's time to give a refresher course on the rather nuanced (ahem, ridiculous, stupid, not fair, idiotic, ahem) system of qualifying for Cup racing. For now, we shall concentrate on Daytona 500 quals.

Deep breath, here goes:

Thirty-five drivers are locked in the field based on 2008 owner points. That's straight forward enough.

Tony Stewart (new team this year, remember?) gets locked in based on his past championship provisional.

That leaves 21 entered cars (57 total entries were received) to vie for the final seven starting positions.

You can either make the race on qualifying speed tomorrow (Sunday) or by racing into the show on Thursday during the 150-mile qualifying races.

Tomorrow's qualifying will only set the front row.

Two non-locked in drivers from each of the races Thursday get automatic starting spots.


The rest of the field will be determined by speed.

Oh, Stewart only gets the past champ freebie if he needs it, so should he make the field by other means, Terry Labonte would be next in line, followed by Bill Elliott, should both Smoke and Terry make the field.


Via SceneDaily, here is a list of the drivers vying for those last, none locked spots:

EM Motorsports’ Boris Said, Phoenix Racing’s Brad Keselowski, R3 Motorsports’ Mike Skinner, Kirk Shelmerdine Racing’s Kirk Shelmerdine, Yates Racing’s Travis Kvapil, Tommy Baldwin Racing’s Scott Riggs, Front Row Motorsports’ Tony Raines, Mayfield Motorsports’ Jeremy Mayfield, Richard Petty Motorsports’ AJ Allmendinger, Carl Long Racing’s Carl Long, Blackjack Racing’s Kelly Bires, Norm Benning Racing’s Norm Benning, EM Motorsports’ James Hylton, Gunselman Motorsports' Geoff Bodine, TRG Motorsports’ Mike Wallace, H&S Motorsports’ Mike Garvey, Cope/Keller Racing’s Derrike Cope, Furniture Row Racing’s Regan Smith and Nemco Motorsports’ Joe Nemechek.

Good luck, guys. We're going to go sit down and decompress our brains.

Have a great race weekend.

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