A new segment we are going to start doing at Short Track Central is “Talk It Up!” We are going to ask drivers their opinions on certain races, formats and other topics about short track racing throughout the season.
For our first installment, we are going to discuss the CARS Tour Knockout Qualifying format. From a fan’s point of view, watching this format is interesting and is a change of pace compared to the standard single car format that is used in most Late Model Stock events. Although most fans I have talked to enjoy it, there seems to be mixed reviews of the format from the drivers and crews.
We asked… “Do you enjoy Knockout Qualifying or do you prefer the standard single car format better. If you could make any changes to it, what would it be? Here are the answers we received…
Leland Honeyman (#4 LMSC) – “I like single car qualifying. The other qualifying is too bunched up.” We asked him if he thinks Euro Qualifying (4 to 5 cars at a time) would be a better option… “Yes it would. The more space, the better”
This was Honeyman’s first time participating in this style qualifying…
Justin Carroll (#57 LMSC) – “I don’t like it, I’ve been at a CARS race 4 times where they were using the the knock out qualifying. Of the 4, I’ve had something happen twice. First time Brandon Grosso spun out while I was on the track, and then this past weekend Lemons pulled up in front of me.”
Another thing that Justin mentioned was the size of the tracks the Tour visits… “The tracks that we go to just aren’t big enough for it, Nor is there enough room in the pits for it. It’s not a bad concept, just not good for short track racing.”
Cameron Bowen (#19 LMSC) – “I like it , brings some strategy and gives you a chance to change things a little before the race , for example my first run out Saturday was horrible so we came in made a few small adjustment and picked up almost 4 tenths.”
“The only thing I would change is it’s really jammed up on pit road trying to leave and cars backing in and it’s kinda hectic.”
Stephen Nasse (#51 SLM) – “The way they have it now is terrible, doesn’t work what so ever and somebody always ends up get screwed and this time it was me.”
“Single car is much better but if you’re gonna do the knockout you should limit the number of cars that can be on track at the same time and limit the amount of times you can go out.”
On the podcast “Windshield Deep”, which aired on Tuesday (3/12), the topic of Knockout Qualifying was brought up. Nick Payne, who is a spotter on the Tour, was on the show discussing the CARS Tour event at SNMP. He mentioned that he did not like the format either. He said that doing qualifying this way takes up too much time and is also about being lucky.
The next stop for the CARS Tour is the MTP Tire 300 at Hickory Motor Speedway on March 23. This race will also feature 150 Laps for both Late Model Stocks and Super Late Models.