NASCAR Announces New Penalty Structure For 2014 Season

Officials from NASCAR on Tuesday announced a new system for assigning penalties and appealing those penalties.

nascar-logoNASCAR introduced a six-tiered penalty system the sanctioning body is calling its Deterrence System.

NASCAR also announced that the appointment of Bryan Moss, a former president at Gulfstream Aerospace, as the Final Appeals Officer.

Moss will hear matters on appeal from the lower three-member Appeals Panel, and serve as the last decision on penalty disputes for the sport.

“NASCAR’s Deterrence System is designed to help maintain the integrity and competitive balance of our sport while sending a clear message that rules violations will not be tolerated,” Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president of racing operations said in a release. “This is a more transparent and effective model that specifically spells out that ‘X’ infraction equals ‘X’ penalty for technical infractions.

“At the same time, we believe the Appeals process allows a fair opportunity for our NASCAR Members to be heard, and have penalty disputes resolved by an impartial, relevant group of people with the ability to handle the complexities inherent in any appeal. This system has been tailored specifically to fit the needs of our sport.”

The NASCAR Deterrence System as spelled out by NASCAR in its introductory press release Tuesday.

NASCAR’s Deterrence System is easily understood and specifically lays out exactly what disciplinary action will be taken depending on the type of technical infraction listed from warnings to six penalty levels in ascending order. Some of the Deterrence System elements include:

§ The system starts with warnings (W) issued for very minor infractions, then are grouped into six levels – P1 (least significant) to P6 (most significant).
§ Lower P levels list penalty options from which NASCAR may select (fines or points) while higher P levels are an all-inclusive combination of multiple penalty elements (points and fine and suspension, etc.).
§ At the highest three levels of the system, if a rules infraction is discovered in post-race inspection, the one or more additional penalty elements are added on top of the standard prescribed penalty.
§ Repeat offenses by the same car are addressed via a “recurrence multiplier,” i.e. if a P4 penalty was received and a second P4 or higher infraction occurs in the same season, the subsequent penalty increases 50% above the normal standard.
§ Suspensions are explained in greater detail.
§ Behavioral infractions are still handled on case-by-case basis and are not built into the W, P1-P6 structure.

The 2014 Rule Book will explain how and why NASCAR issues penalties as well as the factors considered when determining a penalty. The Rule Book also will detail the types of infractions that fall within each level by citing examples that are included but not limited to:

· Warnings are issued instead of penalties for certain types of minor, first-time infractions.
· P1 penalties may result from multiple warnings to the same team.
· P2 penalties may include but are not limited to violations such as hollow components, expiration of certain safety certification or improper installation of a safety feature, or minor bracket and fasteners violations.
· P3 penalty options may include but are not limited to violations such as unauthorized parts, measurement failures, parts that fail their intended use, or coil spring violation.
· P4 level infractions may include but are not limited to violations such as devices that circumvent NASCAR templates and measuring equipment, or unapproved added weight .
· P5 level may include but are not limited to violations such as combustion-enhancing additives in the oil, oil filter, air filter element or devices, systems, omissions, etc., that affect the normal airflow over the body.
· P6 level may include but are not limited to violations such as affecting the internal workings and performance of the engine, modifying the pre-certified chassis, traction control or affecting EFI or the ECU.

The National Motorsports Appeals Panel
The new Appeals process continues to provide two tiers for resolving disputes. On the first level before a three-member Appeals Panel, NASCAR has the burden of showing that a penalty violation has occurred. On the second and final level, only a NASCAR Member is allowed to appeal and they have the burden of showing the Final Appeals Officer that the panel decision was incorrect.

Some other Appeals changes include:
§ Clearly identifying the procedural rights of NASCAR Members
§ Detailing responsibilities of parties throughout the process
§ Allowing parties the option to submit summaries on issues before the Appeals Panel
§ Allowing NASCAR Members named in the penalty to be present during the entire hearing
§ Appeals Administrator is not allowed to be present during panel deliberations
§ Creating a clear Expedited Appeals Procedure when necessary
§ Changing the name of the Appeals Panel to The National Motorsports Appeals Panel

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  1. NewtownJack says

    Still a joke…no mention of DQ’s for rules violations & good luck with an appeal.

  2. darealgoodfella says

    That is just so complicated, looks like it was developed by Congress after ten years of deliberations.

    Need something simple, like the Dean of Discipline.

    Then there needs to be exposure. A team caught with the slightest of infractions needs to be exposed. The media that covers this league needs to run a regular column publishing these results and exposing the infractions. Might impact media credentials. Then keep track of the repeat offenders. Then the sponsors will get involved since they don’t want to be humiliated, and these repeat offenders will be defunded and go away.

    So with all these levels of infractions, what will it take to impact the eliminations process? If the teams do not see a threat to progressing through the elimination rounds, then all the levels of infractions are just a facade. And if winning is now so important, then NASCAR should be very ready to take wins away when infractions are found.

    And NASCAR should issue locked and sealed non-flashable ECUs at each race, just as they issue rear springs/shocks and restrictor plates at some tracks.

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