CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — NASCAR has announced competition changes for 2013, including the elimination of the top 35 qualifying rule and a reduction of the field size in the Nationwide Series.
Starting next season, the top 35 cars in owners' points will no longer be guaranteed a spot in the Sprint Cup field. NASCAR will use a 36-6-1 format in which the fastest 36 cars make the race on speed.
The next six highest ranking cars in owners points not already qualified then earn a starting spot, followed by the most recent eligible past champion driver.
In the Nationwide Series, NASCAR will only allow a maximum of 40 cars to race each week instead of 43. The change is to create a sense of urgency among teams to make races.