NASCAR has dropped its fight to add excitement value to qualifying and will return to single-car laps after the current format became a laughingstock.

All three NASCAR national series will return to single-car qualifying at all oval tracks starting this weekend at Dover. NASCAR for more than five years has used a group qualifying format, but a new rules package this season created an unintended consequence: drivers could game the system.

Most waited until the very last moment to pull off pit lane for their qualifying run; all 12 drivers in the final round at California in March missed the cutoff point to even register a lap. NASCAR was adamant it was trying to keep qualifying entertaining for fans because single-car runs are tedious, but teams continued to find loopholes that made the format a farce.

Brad Keselowski (2) leads a pack of cars through the trip oval during the NASCAR Cup Series auto race at Talladega Superspeedway, Sunday, April 28, 2019, in Talladega, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)
Brad Keselowski (2) leads a pack of cars through the trip oval during the NASCAR Cup Series auto race at Talladega Superspeedway, Sunday, April 28, 2019, in Talladega, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

In Wednesday’s rule change, elimination-style rounds were also cut.

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