Good grief. What a convoluted mess.
Why not just have a simple qualifying shoot-out session. One hour, fastest time gets pole position? Why does it have to be so god darn complicated?
What they have now is a one-at-a-time run, fastest driver gets pole. I can see why they’re looking to spice it up, because qualifying is pretty dull on a short oval. If you’re suggesting that all 26 cars should try to find clean space around a 7/8 mile oval to get in a banzai qualifying lap, all running in and out of the pit lane at different times within an hour, that sounds like a recipe for carnage.
People want something that is measureable; they don’t want to be sitting in grandstands unable to follow who is in which position until they get a timing sheet after leaving the venue or hearing an announcer call it out.
Exactly – they don’t want to have to bring a pen and paper, going through all of the permutations and asterisks of the new format, trying to figure out what exactly is the true result of what they’ve just spent their entrance money on.
If they’re looking to get two days worth of spectators, I’d hold a one-at-a-time, one lap qualifying on Friday afternoon (I believe Iowa is a Saturday race) to determine the grid for a Sprint race on Friday night, ~75/100 miles, half points awarded. Then, using the results of the sprint race, flip the grid for the full race ~200/250 miles on Saturday night with full points awarded.
Ticket holders for the Friday sprint (cheaper!) get a free General admission ticket for Saturday, with an option to upgrade to the grandstands on a first-come-first-served availability basis. Two races, seats full, fans happy.