Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
NASCAR has been busy this week as they have made a few changes as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series prepares for this weekend’s race in Richmond. Ahead of the Richmond event NASCAR has made a couple of changes to their rule book, which I am sure that most fans will roll their eyes at give NASCAR’s tendency to change things frequently. NASCAR has also outlined the penalties for when a team fails inspection after there were some issues with inspections this past weekend in Bristol.
In regards to the rules change; according to NBC Sports, NASCAR issued a bulletin on Wednesday that outlined the changes in the rules.
"Among the changes is a rule the requires a driver, crew chief and spotter to have radio communication, a new single rear-end differential assembly rule and a single transmission rule."
The communication rule change simply states that a driver, spotter and crew chief need to be able to communicate on the radio with one another at all times. The new rule in regards to the gears will eliminate the use of qualifying gears. Previously teams could use as many gears as they wanted assuming the each gear fit certain specs, that will now not be allowed as a single rear end differential assembly rule will be enforced at all events (except Martinsville, road courses, the Daytona 500, the Sprint Showdown and the Sprint All-Star Race). The final change states that teams will be permitted only one transmission change after qualifying and before the race for events at Pocono Raceway and road course events.
According to NBC Sports NASCAR isn’t going to offer any give on the changes.
"NASCAR stated that failure to comply with this rule could result in loss of practice time, loss of opportunity to qualify and confiscation of the rear end differential assembly, along with any other actions the series director deems necessary."
Aside from the changes in the rules, NASCAR also beefed up their penalties this week for teams that have issues making it through inspection. Below is a quick outline of the new penalties for teams when it comes to failing inspections.
- All cars must pass initial inspection and receive a final sticker to be eligible to practice.
- Cars that fail qualifying inspection twice will receive a written warning.
- Cars that fail qualifying inspection three times also will be penalized 15 minutes of practice time at the next event.
- Cars that fail pre-race inspection twice will receive a written warning.
- Cars that fail pre-race inspection three times also will be penalized 15 minutes of practice time at the next event.
According to NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Director Richard Buck there would have been several issues if these rules would have been in place this past weekend at Bristol. “Based on the above, there would have been nine written warnings issued at Bristol and an additional 3 competitors that would have received time penalties,” said Buck in a memo to the teams. NASCAR’s rule book states that multiple warnings to the same member or team can lead to a P1 penalty.
One would have to hope that team will get it right when it comes to inspection this weekend in Richmond to avoid the mistakes that happened less than a week ago in Bristol. One also has to question whether six days is enough time to correct such issues, especially when NASCAR is attaching such penalties to the violations.
I guess that we will all have to wait and see what transpires this weekend. What is your take on the latest series of changes made by NASCAR? Be sure to comment below and let us know what you think.