Should NASCAR Reward Non-Qualifying Contestants Who Beat “Best of the Best”?

Since NASCAR began its playoff format in 2004, its famous slogan has been “Win while you’re in.” In other words, any driver who wins any of the first 26 races in the regular season is guaranteed a place in 10 races after the season – aka qualifying.

But after what we’ve seen in the first three races of qualifying this year, I think a major adjustment has to be made.

For the first time since qualifying began nearly 20 years ago, none of the winners in all three races were from the first round of qualifying. In other words, none of the 16 drivers who qualified for the playoffs made it to the victory lane in Darlington, KS or the final of the Round of 16 Saturday night at Bristol Motor Speedway.

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