It seems that everything old is new again in NASCAR. After announcing that they were reverting to pre-2008 testing rules next season NASCAR has also announced that it is rolling back the qualifying and provisional rules that have been largely in place since 2005.
Starting next year the guaranteed starting position for the top 35 in owner points will be gone. The 36 fastest cars will start in the top 36 positions with the rest of the field going to provisionals, including the past champion's provisional which Darrell Waltrip used extensively in his final years on the circuit.
Qualifying order will be set by a random draw like it was prior to the 2011 season instead of the current system using practice speeds to set the order.
One qualifying change that is new will be that only the first three races of the season will use the previous year's points for provisionals. Currently the first five races use last year's car owner points to determine provisionals.
I like these changes. All of them. They help ensure that the fastest cars qualify for the race and force the top teams to put more effort into their qualifying runs. These changes are good for NASCAR.