The Camping World Truck Series is racing for the first time at Pocono this weekend and Saturday morning's qualifying session took about an hour despite Elliott Sadler's pole lap being just over 55 seconds.
In what was called by many as a "modified European" format, the slowest truck from Friday's practice went out first while the fastest truck, Sadler, went out last. The trucks went out in 25 second intervals, so at any given point there were three or four trucks out on the track at the same time. (Drafting wasn't allowed, and if Truck Series officials deemed that drafting took place, the times of the offending trucks would be disallowed.)
Plus, with Sadler going out last, it added some drama to the end of the qualifying session. Most qualifying sessions in NASCAR are anti-climactic when it comes to the pole award at the end of the session because the cars who aren't locked in qualify last.
Qualifying at Pocono and larger tracks can be tedious, and while Pocono's busy schedule had a lot to do with it -- Saturday's schedule included Cup practice, Truck qualifying and the race and the ARCA race -- it's something that needs to be used in the Cup Series at Pocono.
The format would create interest in Cup qualifying -- the stands were pretty empty on Friday -- and could also be used at Talladega and for the July Daytona race. Yes, it's a minnow in the grand scheme of changes that NASCAR may be making for 2011, but it's one that certianly should be done.
- Camping World Truck Series