NASCAR Rule Book Reveals More on Infractions
By: Dustin Long - @dustinlong on February 12, 2014 | 6:00 P.M. EST
NASCAR's Sprint Cup Rule Book provides greater detail of what type of infractions will lead to what particular penalties. (Photo: Getty Images)
The new NASCAR Sprint Cup Rule Book provides more details on what type of infractions can lead to particular penalties and includes a list of members of the Appeals Panels that reveals four new members.
This year’s Rule Book is 208 pages, 16 pages more than last year’s version.
The book lists 34 people in the pool for the appeals panels. There were 48 in the pool last year.
There new members to the group are Benson, a former Nationwide and Camping World champion, Speed, who raced in Sprint Cup from 1980-98, Hunter Nickell, former president of Speed Channel, and Jimmy Smith, a former team owner.
NASCAR previously stated that the appeals panel would no longer have track operators whose facilities host the Cup series. Also not listed this year are Buddy Baker, Hurley Haywood, Robert Pressley and Waddell Wilson.
“In order to follow through on our mandate to be as fair and impartial as possible with the new Appeals Process, we felt that with the volume of appeals historically it was best to restructure the National Motorsports Appeals Panel including the reduction of the number of Panel members,’’ said Steve O'Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president, racing operations.
The Rule Book also provides more explanation of its penalty structure.
NASCAR’s new deterrence system divides infractions into warnings and penalties labeled from P1 (least severe) to P6 (most severe).
The Rule Book states that if a team receives two warnings during an event or two warnings during two consecutive events, then that may result in a P1 penalties that could include the team having the last choice in pit selection, reduction of track time in practice or qualifying or be selected for post-race inspection, among various possibilities.
If any team or member accumulates six or more warnings in a six-month period from the time of the first warning, then they could be subject to a P2 penalty. If any team or member accumulates eight or more warnings in a 12-month period from the time of the first warning, then they could be subject to a P3 penalty.
Examples of what could trigger a P2 penalty would be:
- Expiration of certain safety certification(s) or improper installation of any safety system of a “minor nature.”
- Failure to meet minimum weight at the end of a race.
- Hollows in solid components that must be solid.
- Minor fasteners, nuts, bolts, etc. of the wrong material.
- Minor bracketry supports of the wrong material.
- An engine that is not situated in the car within the proper location parameters.
Should the violation be egregious in any penalty category, NASCAR can increase the penalty.
Examples of what could trigger a P3 penalty:
- Unapproved parts such as secondary steering linkage, secondary drivetrain components, unapproved added weight or weight affixed improperly.
- Failure to submit and have approved secondary components such as a radiator mount and oil pan.
- Engine ancillary components (valve covers, outer oil pans, pulleys, belts, etc).
- Approved parts that fail their intended use (such as shock absorbers that fail to rebound regardless of reason).
- Materials added to rear bumper, which in NASCAR’s judgment either primarily increase the bumper’s weight or could aid and/or promote aggressive driving.
- Circumventing or interfering with open radio communications between the driver and spotter and team which the fans should be able to listen to (other than verifiable equipment failure).
- Faulty, missing or ineffective seams on required interior sheet metal seals (excluding safety barriers such as firewalls).
- Coil spring violation.
- Heating or chilling any parts, systems or materials that are not allowed by rules (if relative to tires or fuel, this is a P5 penalty).
- Rear body heights not met.
Examples that could trigger a P4 penalty:
- Compromises to the integrity or effectiveness of any safety elements not covered elsewhere in the Rule Book.
- Unapproved added weight and/or weight affixed improperly (unapproved added weight location).
- Engine components (fly wheel; etc.) that differ from what is required by the rules.
- Approved parts that are not properly installed or are made adjustable when not normally intended to be.
- Body panels failing to meet minimum thickness or any indication of acid dipping or chemical milling.
- Components, devices, systems, configurations, installations, etc. which serve to circumvent NASCAR templates, gauges, measuring devices, whether intended or not (if it impacts pre-certified chassis, then it can be a P6 penalty).
- Falsifying a mandated third-party component (Lambda sensor; dry break fitting, etc.).
- Anything which would circumvent mandated regulatory devices such a radiator pressure relief valve.
- Unapproved open vent hose inside of the car.
NASCAR states that P5 penalties “are extremely serious.’’ NASCAR’s Rule Book states that “characteristics of violations of this magnitude might include, but are not limited to, elements like disguise; concealment; areas that are camouflaged and/or “hidden in plain sight.’’
Examples that could trigger a P5 penalty:
- Effecting, modifying and/or altering the standard tires in any way, other than through authorized means such as tire pressure adjustments within the recommended range, permitted tire cooling when mounted on the race car; or heat-cycling on the race car on the race track earlier in the event.
- Effecting, modifying and/or altering the standard fuel in any unauthorized manner.
- Unauthorized fuel storage capability aboard the race car.
- Combustion enhancing additives in the oil, oil filter, air filter element, etc.
- Compromises to the integrity or effectiveness of the following safety elements - fuel cell; fuel cell container; and/or pressurized lines running through the driver compartment; unless the compromise clearly resulted from race damage during that event.
- Major external engine components (i.e.; not part of the long block engine) such as, intake manifold, oil pump, inner oil pan, that differ from what is required by the rules.
- Unapproved parts or system configuration of great importance (examples: rear suspension parts mounted and assembled in a unapproved manner so as to allow movement that should not otherwise be available; shock absorbers that show evidence of possible modification or alteration or have the wrong internal components).
- Approved parts that are not properly installed or are made adjustable when not normally intended to be (e.g.; bracing in the trunk which alters the rear deck lid configuration and, in turn, alters how the rear spoiler is measured during inspection).
- Approved parts that fail or are improperly installed to fail in their intended use of great importance (e.g.; rear wheel well panels that fail and allow air evacuation in the trunk area; oil box cover that fails and allows air evacuation in the driver compartment; shifter boot cover that fails and allows air evacuation thru the floor pan).
- Parts, systems, devices, omissions or component failures that could have an effect on what should otherwise be the normal airflow over the body of the car and/or required aerodynamic devices such as the rear spoiler, roof air deflectors, etc. (e.g.; repositioning a windshield; repositioning the rear window; altering the greenhouse; failure to maintain rear spoiler angle, other than due to crash damage, at speedway events);
- Parts, systems, devices, omissions or component failures that could have an effect on the car’s down force (e.g.; unauthorized undercarriage panels).
NASCAR’s Rule Book states that P6 penalties “represent the expressly forbidden areas of unauthorized activity in the car car including the internal workings and performance of the engine; the pre-certified chassis including major safety systems designed to protect the driver, other competitors and fans; and other significant items such as technologies or evidence of technologies like nitrous oxide or traction control.
Examples that could trigger a P6 penalty:
- Engine total cubic inch displacement above the maximum allowed or below the minimum required.
- Compression ratio on any cylinder above the maximum allowed.
- Long block engine and internal components that differ from what is required by the rules or fail to meet the minimum or maximum requirements or fail to meet the configuration requirements.
- Unauthorized engine performance enhancement(s) such as nitrous oxide, whether operational or not; air entering the engine through means other than through the authorized air intake, or through means other than via the restrictor plate or tapered spacer when applicable; intake manifold failing a leak test; unauthorized pressure systems or componentry relative to the fuel system, whether operational or not.
- Modifying, altering, repairing or changing a pre-certified chassis, or failing to maintain the integrity of the chassis certification RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) tags and/or security tape, without prior notice to and approval by NASCAR, including major chassis safety systems designed to protect the driver, other competitors and fans.
- Altering or compromising the standard ECU (Electronic Control Unit), its software, or its performance.
- Anything which alters or enhances the performance of EFI (Electronic Fuel Injection) beyond the parameters which the configuration specified in the rules allows for.
- Anything which alters or affects the engine control system spec wiring harness and/or the engine control system spec wiring subharnesses that are currently approved for each licensed team and engine supplier.
- Traction control or traction control componentry, whether operational or not.
- Onboard recording, receiving or transmitting devices, computers, telemetry, and so on, not approved in advance by NASCAR, whether operational or not.
NASCAR announced that it has approved points for three new ownership groups.
The points from the No. 32 car owned by Frank Stoddard last season will go to Go Fas Racing. That features the new partnership between Stoddard’s Fas Lane Racing and Archie St. Hilarie’s Go Green Racing.
The points from the No. 55 Michael Waltrip car last season will go to the No. 66 car of Robinson Racing Team. That car is being shared by MWR and Jay Robinson Racing.
That doesn’t mean the No. 55 car at MWR driven by Brian Vickers this year will be without points. The team is moving the points earned from the No. 56 car with Martin Truex Jr. last year to the car Vickers will drive this year.
Also, the No. 87 car formerly known as NEMCO Motorsports will be known as Identity Ventures Racing, which is a partnership of Jay Robinson, Joe Nemechek, Troy Stafford, James Hamilton and John Burns. It will use the points earned from Nemechek’s No. 87 car last year.