NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
 
        === NASCAR allowing teams to use cooling units in qualifying ===
 
 Daytona  Beach,  FL (SportsNetwork.com) - NASCAR  is making changes to its new
 qualifying  format for  the Sprint  Cup,  Nationwide and  Camping World  Truck
 Series  due to recent safety concerns and issues with teams cooling down their
 engines during qualifying.
 
 On  Tuesday, NASCAR notified teams in all three of its national touring series
 that  several modifications  will  go into  effect  for qualifying,  effective
 immediately.
 
 Teams  will be  allowed one cool-down unit, connected through either the left-
 side or right-side hood flap/cowl flap, to cool down the engine. The hood must
 remain  closed,  and plugging in  the generator will  not be allowed. Two crew
 members  will  now be permitted  over the wall to  support the car and driver.
 Only crew member was allowed in the previous rules.
 
 NASCAR has now banned cool-down laps during qualifying.
 
 "The qualifying is new to all of us, and as we have said over the past several
 weeks,  we are  looking at  it  from all  aspects," NASCAR  vice president  of
 competition  Robin Pemberton said in a statement. "Following discussions, both
 internally  and with others in the garage area, we moved quickly to make a few
 revisions  that will be effective starting with our two national series events
 at Bristol Motor Speedway this weekend.
 
 "We  believe this will only enhance and improve what has demonstrated to be an
 exciting form of qualifying for our fans, competitors and others involved with
 the  sport. Moving forward we will continue to look at it and address anything
 else that we may need to as the season unfolds."
 
 Sprint  Cup and Nationwide are running at Bristol, a 0.533-mile oval. It's the
 first short-track races of the season.
 
 Prior  to the  start  of the  season, NASCAR  instituted  a knockout-style  of
 qualifying.  Sprint Cup  used the  new format  for the  first time  at Phoenix
 International Raceway on Feb. 28.
 
 Since  then,  teams had been  experiencing problems  with trying to cool their
 engines  during qualifying.  Since NASCAR  did not  allow the  use of  cooling
 units,  drivers  would make one fast  lap and then  drive on the inside of the
 track  at  speeds that were  much slower than those  making their fast laps to
 reduce their engine temperatures.
 
 After last Friday's qualifying at Las Vegas Motor Speedway had concluded, many
 drivers  voiced their  concerns  about  the safety  of  cool-down laps.  Brian
 Vickers, who drives the No. 55 Toyota for Michael Waltrip Racing, said running
 the  cool-down laps in qualifying was "the most dangerous thing I've ever done
 in a race car."
 
 03/11 21:57:23 ET

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