The Associated Press is reporting that following drivers expressing safety concerns with the new qualifying format, NASCAR will be making changes. Changes were discussed with crew chiefs in a conference call.
During the call, NASCAR banned cool-down laps following qualifying runs to cool down the engines. Now, teams will be allowed to hook up cooling units through the hood flaps. NASCAR originally wasn't allowing cooling units due to wanting to keep the hood closed during qualifying.
UPDATE: 5:50 p.m. (EST): NASCAR has made the changes official via an announcement via their website including comments from Robin Pemberton, vice president of competition and racing development.
"The qualifying is new to all of us and as we have said over the past several weeks, we are looking at it from all aspects," said Robin Pemberton, vice president of competition and racing development. "Following discussions, both internally and with others in the garage area, we moved quickly to make a few revisions that will be effective starting with our two national series events at Bristol Motor Speedway this weekend. We believe this will only enhance and improve what has demonstrated to be an exciting form of qualifying for our fans, competitors and others involved with the sport. Moving forward we will continue to look at it and address anything else that we may need to as the season unfolds."
- One cool down unit connected through either the left side or right side hood flap/cowl flap is allowed to cool the engine
- The hood must continue to remain closed
- Plugging in the generator will not be allowed
- Two crew members will be allowed over the wall to support the car and driver
- No cool down laps will be permitted