NASCAR has overhauled its qualifying format to determine starting positions for events held in its three national divisions, a change which will directly impact the Labor Day Weekend of NASCAR night racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

The new procedure is a radical departure from the long-standing qualifying format that has been used for more than 50 years. The new qualifying procedure will be utilized for the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series events during Labor Day Weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

It will feature three separate multi-car qualifying rounds with five-minute breaks in between each round.

First Round:

At tracks longer than 1.25 miles, the first qualifying elimination round will be 25 minutes long, with the fastest 24 cars advancing to the next round of qualifying. The cars not advancing will be sorted in descending order based on their qualifying times and will fill the last starting positions. 

Second Round:

The second round of qualifying will be 10 minutes in length and the 12 fastest cars will advance to the final round. The fastest remaining cars that do not advance will be placed in starting positions 13 through 24 based on their qualifying times.

Third Round:

The third and final round of qualifying will be five minutes in length and will determine the first 12 positions of each race.

"Qualifying at Atlanta Motor Speedway already carries a high element of drama with drivers trying to turn a quick lap at one of NASCAR's quickest tracks," Atlanta Motor Speedway President and GM Ed Clark said. "With this new format, a totally new element of excitement has been added to make qualifying a much more competitive part of Labor Day Weekend."

The new qualifying format will make the Friday night even more exciting for fans, adding drama to a day that already includes NASCAR practice sessions and the USCS Sprint Car Shootout.

Friday grandstand tickets are $20 and kids 12 & under will be admitted free when accompanied by an adult general admission ticket.

For more information, visit or call Atlanta Motor Speedway at or 877-9-AMS-TIX.