The rules tweaks seemed like they would work, since NASCAR said it would have a staging area for drivers who don’t immediately go out for a lap, and that once drivers leave the staging area, they can’t block anyone and have to proceed to the track. Drivers, instead, found a way around those rules: ducking in and out of the two staging lines on pit road, trying to trick others into going out on track—all without blocking the middle lane, as instructed.


A non-penalized blocking maneuver by Ryan Newman can be seen at about 2:30 in this video, and it didn’t go over too well with the driver he blocked.

It’s hard to say whether shortening the first two sessions at Richmond will make much of a difference when it comes to clogging pit road and waiting for someone to go, but it’ll at least cut waiting periods in half. With more cars in the first two sessions—around 40 in the first and 24 in the second—it’ll also likely make it logistically harder to wait.


But given that it’ll only be in effect for Richmond and that NASCAR bosses have said they’re working on a fix for the problem, cutting session times sounds like more of a short-term fix than anything.

No qualifying system NASCAR can come up with is immune to gaming, though, since gaming the system is what NASCAR teams do best.