Beginning next season, the fastest 36 cars will make the race on speed, with the next six highest ranking cars in owners’ points earning provisional spots at the tail of the field. The final starting position will be awarded to the most recent eligible past champion, completing the field of 43. If there is no eligible past champion driver, a seventh car will make the field based upon owners' points.
Qualifying order for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will once again be determined by a random draw, rather than practice speeds. However, if qualifying is canceled due to rain, the starting lineup will be determined by practice speeds.
Provisional positions in the NASCAR Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series’ will be based upon the previous year's owner points for the first three races of the season, instead of the first five races, as has been the case in recent years.
In a related story, the sanctioning body has reduced the number of starters for NASCAR Nationwide Series races from 43 to 40, beginning in 2013. The move was made “in an effort to strengthen the ownership base and create a sense of urgency among teams to make races.” Sprint Cup Series fields will remain at 43 cars, while the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will remain unchanged at 36.
NASCAR also confirmed that it will allow up to four tests per Sprint Cup Series organization next season, at tracks on which the series competes. In recent years, teams have only been allowed to test at tracks that do not hold NASCAR national series events. Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series will be allowed two tests per organization at tracks where those series compete in 2013. Team’s campaigning an official Sunoco Rookie of Year candidate will receive an additional test.