NASCAR Adds DQ’s To Officiating Procedures For National Divisions In 2019

Monster Energy Cup Series takes the green for the Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 last July at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (Photo: Shawn Courchesne/RaceDayCT)

By Reid Spencer – NASCAR Wire Service

CONCORD, N.C. – In a move that is both dramatic and emphatic, NASCAR announced on Monday that, for the first time as an official policy, cars will be subject to disqualification for post-race inspection failures.

And NASCAR will declare the official winner of races in its top three national series before leaving the track on race day.

“We’re changing the culture,” NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer Steve O’Donnell said during a meeting with reporters at the NASCAR Research & Development Center. “Going forward, post-race inspection will take place at the track…

“If the first-place car has any penalties, that car will be disqualified. Second place will receive all the benefits of winning that race.”

That marks a sea change in NASCAR’s approach to the inspection and officiating process. The disqualified car and driver will receive last-place points and money and will lose all stage points and bonus points accrued during the race.

No longer will the penalized driver appear in the record books as the race winner in name only. NASCAR also will inspect the second-place car and a random car, but the inspections of the top two cars will conclude at the race track, with the winner announced soon thereafter.

O’Donnell said the at-track process would take approximately 90 minutes beyond the conclusion of the event.

The new policy is a move by NASCAR to discourage in no uncertain terms infractions designed to give one team an undeserved advantage over another. 

“We’ve made it very clear to the teams over the last six months that this is where we’re headed,” O’Donnell said. “Let’s do stuff right. Let’s concentrate on the best drivers in the world going out there and beating each other on the track versus the wind tunnel. We think this is going to do that.”

Instead of roving inspectors who rotate between the top three series, NASCAR is creating dedicated teams for each of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, Xfinity Series and Gander Outdoors Truck Series. In addition, the inspection process won’t be confined to specific times and stations but will be an ongoing process throughout the race weekend.

“Inspection is going to be open all the time,” said Scott Miller, NASCAR’s senior vice president of competition. “With the inspectors in the garage, we will be inspecting cars all the time. It won’t be just during the official inspections.

“When we find something wrong—and it’s been in the rule book, but we’re going to use it this year—if you bring illegal parts, and we make you take them off, you’re going to be issued an L1 penalty right there at the race track. We have to stop this. We tried to do it a little softer, but it didn’t work, so we’re going to try a new approach.

“You can’t unload your car with illegal stuff on it—period.”

Clearly, the greatest potential jeopardy lies in post-race inspection, given the possibility of disqualification. But that prospect doesn’t apply to one or two loose lug nuts, which are treated separately in the rule book. Three loose lugs, however, rise to the level of an L1 penalty and bring disqualification.

NASCAR is taking this approach as it begins to develop its next generation of race car—the Gen-7—which O’Donnell expects to have on the track in 2021. The expectation is that the new car will feature greater brand identity, something that both existing and potential new OEMs should find appealing.

O’Donnell said NASCAR’s goal is to get to five manufacturers in the sport.

The Gen-7 almost certainly will feature a composite body, O’Donnell said, given the success and positive feedback the sanctioning body has received from the introduction of composites in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.


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Comments

  1. Let’s see if any of the top teams get DQ’d.

    Perhaps there were way too many grey area infractions, and now NASCAR wants to show the teams who is the boss. Get tough and it should stop the shenanigans.

    What about pulling engines for more detailed inspection at the R&D Center?

  2. Sponsors are going to do away with this. Imagine if the team you are sponsoring with about $100 million gets a DQ. There will be the threat of yanking the $$$$$$$$$. That means that it will be impossible to useless to DQ a car. Sponsors don’t sponsor to get DQ’d. This is America, capitalism takes precedence over any rules. The sponsor is guilty by association if a team gets DQ’d.

  3. I’m happy to see the change. It’s not fun to watch a guy dominate a race, passing three cars in one turn on the outside during a restart, (like he’s got an extea gear) only to find out after he wins the car is illegal.

  4. The car was legal before the race, just ran 500 miles, not it is illegal???????????? Come on people. Do you think sponsors are going to stick around it the car the put their name on gets DQ!!!!!!!!!!! What about the low buck teams in all 3 series. They may say GOOD BYE to this STUPID stuff. There are NO fans in the stands know.

  5. Sponsors have a big say. The more likely scenario is they tell teams if you get DQed we pull sponsorship and go with another team. That’s why this might work. The top teams are the ones doing all the cheating. They’ve been warned.

  6. I think this is fantastic… It puts the onus back on the teams to field a fully legal car and keep it legal to the end. No more pitcrew “accidents” changing aero, or destroying a car doing post-race donuts. I know cars are inspected before the race, but stripping the win might limit or eliminate using internals that can’t be inspected pre-race.

    It may even help the smaller teams that don’t have the resources to cheat on the level of the bigs.

    Another change I’d love to see is a three step podium as in many other types of motorsports. I’d bet sponsors would like it as well.

  7. Yeah, and when Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick, Austin Dillon, Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano, Kyle Larson, Jimmie Johnson, et al. get DQ’d and throw a temper tantrum and play the victim card. The pressure will be on the NASCAR tech officials to selectively lose their eyesight.

    And you think the relationships between the NASCAR execs and Gibbs, Hendrick, Penske, Petty and Childress won’t be strained????? LOL!!!!

    And sponsors won’t go to another team, they will leave the sport. Plenty doing that lately.

    If they don’t win, the sponsor will go with another team. The pressure is on to win, anyway they can, and NOT GET CAUGHT.

    There is big pre$$ure to win, and even bigger pre$$ure to not get caught cheating.

    I can see a super speedway race where all the top teams are taken out in a “big one”, and some second or even third rate car wins. That car is a target for any kind of DQ so NASCAR can say they DQ’d a car, don’t mess with NASCAR. LOL!!! I really do feel sorry for a non-elite team should they win a race, it will be so much easier for NASCAR to DQ that kind of team. NASCAR can say, “Of course they were cheating, they are not one of the consistently top contending teams.” And the illusion is complete.

    And now, with the illusion complete, NASCAR can turn those blind eyes to the top teams, and punish the lucky second string car once in a while to maintain the illusion.

  8. Sponsors have a big say and they say loud and clear that my teams better not get DQ’d or I’m pulling my 💵 . Capitalism is > rules.

  9. I guess the assumption is that this decision was made in a vacuum. NASCAR execs sitting in offices and dictating a policy they think moves the series in a more idealic place of cheat free racing.
    In fact this has been brewing for a couple years according to what i have read. NASCAR was concerned that the cheating incidents were too frequent and dragging on too long dominating the Monster news cycle. Grumbling through the field of favoritism and a playing field that was not level was becoming a distraction.
    From most accounts NASCAR did this right and for the right reasons. They got feedback from all elements in the sport and telegraphed the fact this was coming. It appears it was a zero surprise and reaction very professional. Like the guy that was found to have major issues with his car in 25% of his wins last year.
    https://nascar.nbcsports.com/2019/02/05/kevin-harvick-says-key-nascar-change-might-be-one-many-are-overlooking/
    The way I read this article Harvick is taking this very professionally and making it clear the change extends over the full race weekend and not a post race inspection.
    We’ve all taken shots at NASCAR over the years for a lot of good reasons. This does not appear to be one of them. They seem to have done it right and have most on board.
    Fact is the top teams have the greatest resources to cheat in the most subtle and sophisticated ways with the least chance of being caught. Clearly on too many occasions they thought it was worth the risk given the penalties. Now they may not take the chance.
    On a purely selfish level I will be rooting for Ryan Preece. His team is exactly the sort that will benefit from this rule change as far as I can see.

  10. It is the responsibility of the team to make sure the car is in full compliance with the rules and rulers. That’s not NASCAR’s problem. The full tech has to be after the race, when the team can lose something. The post-race tech puts the risk and responsibility of compliance on the team.

    Sometimes I think NASCAR should not do pre-race tech (but do pre-race safety stuff like seats, belts, fire suppression, tethers, etc), only do post race tech, and DQ cars mercilessly. The top 10 finishers get tech’d and DQ’d for being out of compliance. And then the cars that inherit the positions because other cars were DQ’d get the full tech and DQ’d for non-compliances. So the top 15 cars or so have to be sequestered after a race until the results are declared official.

    So consider this… NASCAR only does pre-race checks for safety issues, no competition pre-race tech, then immediately after a race, NASCAR impounds and sequesters the top 15 cars until the top 5 or 10 cars are officially declared. But NASCAR will also have to mercilessly DQ cars. That will scare the 💩💩💩💩 out of Kevin Harvick.

  11. Now that I think of this a little more, there should always be mandatory inspection for safety items. Cars unload and are immediately inspected for safety items. Then from there to the race, there will be random inspections for all other rules, such as ride height, engines, weight, dimensions, etc. Cars will be pulled out of a hat throughout the weekend, up to the green flag of the race and inspected for whatever the NASCAR officials might deem suspicious, or randomly. Penalties would be issued for infractions.

    Then after the race, probably the top finishing 15 cars would need to be impounded and sequestered for post race inspection to determine the official finishing order. NASCAR needs to relentlessly DQ cars.

    Who was that that has been saying “law and order!”? LOL!

  12. In my opinion the top 3 series in nascar are not going to recover from the down turn in viewership, either live or televised. As Smoke stated…” Why would you hire non-racing people to run the biggest racing organization on the planet” ? and failed executives from GM at that ? The arrogance of the companies upper and mid level management have chased away the root of the fan base, that being the blue collar working Dads and Grandpas. Chad Little is a perfect example…he about drove the modified series to failure….so they promoted him. The modifieds are the only series in the company that is actually growing in car counts and most of the races have pretty full grandstands. I remember the days of a month long plan for a Daytona 500 party at someone’s house…now I really don’t even know when the race is….WHY ? Because I just don’t care ! !

  13. Crazy in NY says

    Spec-tre your words could be mine. I feel the exact same way. NASCAR is ho hum most Sundays and for sure I used to do the Daytona 500 house party thing with a group of buds but no more. Doesn’t get me going like it used to. Mods in March is my mantra now. South Boston here I come.

  14. Manure. That’s what Tommy Baldwin is like. And before anyone gets offended its an endearing expression we country folk use for people that are spread all over.
    He was at New Smyrna doing testing with Troyer with the Catalano’s in January. He’s fielding cars for two different drivers at Stafford Opens. Plans for the NWMT season……….unknown as far as I can see.
    One of TBR’s crazy underdog efforts this year is to try to qualify Ryan Truex in the 71 for a spot in the Daytona 500. He’s not even on some of the early entry lists.
    Also hopefully qualifying for the 500 is our hero Ryan Preece. Given the team one wouldn’t expect him to be up front like in his limited engagement Xfinity races but it’s the first race. The big one or big ones cause surprises to happen. Like last years 500 winner.
    This fan shares most every reason for not being excited about Monster Cup racing that most do. Who like most of us old timers remembers a time when the racing was must see TV. Now it seems it’s more like a bunch of accountants calculating every word and move in public before the race saying all the right things. Then racing like accountants with scant experience on the track. I’ll also suggest this year may be a tad different.
    No there aren’t several drivers with modified roots in the race that can be in the top tier. But there are a couple of teams with regional modified roots that make this race different. They may frequently be off camera or in the TBR case not even make the race. But they’re still our guys so I’ll be watching.
    Preece is old school and deserves it in my view.

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