Changes to NASCAR rulebook: Driver biometrics, roof hatch and rear spoiler height

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NASCAR has issued updates to its rulebooks for all three national series.

A noteworthy update for all three series involves allowing drivers to wear biometric devices in the cockpit

For the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and Xfinity Series there are changes in restrictor-plate hole size, roof hatch requirements and toe board energy material requirements.

The only change exclusive to the Cup Series is rear spoiler height.

MORE: NASCAR reduces tire allotment at 13 of 36 Cup races

Driver Biometrics (Cup, Xfinity, Trucks)

Driver biometric devices are now permitted to be worn in the vehicle provided they do not have telematics capability and operate on their own internal battery power.

The devices can’t connect to any vehicle electrical system (e.g. vehicle battery, ECU, digital dash display, etc.). Data generated by the device can only be stored within the device itself. External data loggers are also not permitted.

The data stored on the driver biometric device will not be permitted to be downloaded during qualifying or a race.

It is the team’s responsibility to make sure the biometric device is suitable for use in the driver’s cockpit.

In order for a device to be eligible for use, it must either be listed on NASCAR’s approved driver biometric device list or be similar in functionality to the devices listed.

NASCAR may allow additional biometric devices to be used in special circumstances if required by the driver’s doctor. If the need arises, the driver and team must notify the senior vice president of competition in advance of a race and provide the specifications and any special requirements of the biometric device.

Rear-spoiler height (Cup)

In 2016, the Cup series ran a rough draft of the 2017 aero package at both Michigan races and at Kentucky Speedway. That package featured a rear spoiler that was 2.5-inches tall, down from 3.5 inches. In 2017, the spoiler will be 2.35 inches tall.

Roof hatch (Cup, Xfinity)

An emergency roof hatch for driver exit is now mandatory at all superspeedway events, after being optional last season. The roof hatch remains optional at all non-superspeedway tracks.

Restrictor-plate hole size (Cup, Xfinity)

The size of the holes in restrictor plates used at Daytona and Talladega will now be 7/8ths of an inch, a change from 57/64ths of an inch.

Toe board energy absorbing material (Cup, Xfinity)

NASCAR now requires teams to use toe board energy absorbing material at superspeedway races in order to strengthen the driver foot box. The measure, an answer to Kyle Busch‘s leg injuries in the 2015 Xfinity Series opener at Daytona, was previously optional.

The absorbing material adds approximately 20 pounds to the car’s weight.  NASCAR has raised the minimum weight of cars the same amount in order to encourage teams to use the material at non-superspeedway tracks.

Despite crash, Elliott Sadler maintains lead in Xfinity points standings after Charlotte

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Despite finishing 35th because of a late crash, Elliott Sadler maintained his Xfinity Series points lead Saturday after the Hisense 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Sadler remained six points ahead of JR Motorsports teammate Justin Allgaier. Teammate William Byron is ranked third.

With Allgaier and Ryan Reed qualified for the playoffs via victories, provisional playoff spots basesd off points currently belong to Sadler, Byron, Daniel Hemric, Darrell Wallace Jr., Brennan Poole, Matt Tifft, Michael Annett, Blake Koch, Cole Custer and Dakoda Armstrong.

Click here for the Xfinity points standings after Charlotte.

Xfinity Series results and statistics from Charlotte Motor Speedway

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Ryan Blaney scored the fifth Xfinity Series victory of his career and first since September 2015, winning the Hisense 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Blaney seized the lead from runner-up Kevin Harvick on a restart with three laps remaining.

Austin Dillon, Christopher Bell and Denny Hamlin rounded out the top five.

Blaney led a race-high 107 of 200 laps.

Click here for full results from Saturday’s Xfinity race at Charlotte.

Ryan Blaney wins Charlotte Xfinity race for first victory in series since September 2015

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CONCORD, N.C. — Ryan Blaney won Saturday’s Hisense 4K TV 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Blaney took the lead from Kevin Harvick on a restart with three laps to go.

It’s his fifth Xfinity Series win and the first for Team Penske in 2017. It’s Blaney’s first Xfinity victory since Sept. 26, 2015 at Kentucky Speedway.

Blaney was followed by Harvick, Austin Dillon, Christopher Bell and Denny Hamlin.

“I thought we were going to run out of laps to make it happen,” Blaney said, who was aided by a series of rapid cautions in the closing laps.

“We got a good restart and I was able to barely stay on (Harvick’s) quarter (panel) off of (Turn) 2 and dragged him back into (Turn) 3,” Blaney told Fox Sports 1. “I’m very proud, but you’re going to feel really bad if you mess up and don’t win. That’s what I thought was going to happen. I didn’t know if we were going to get our shot to get back to the lead. I don’t want to say the caution went our way because we kind of needed long runs. But they worked out so we could put ourselves in a position to  capitalize on it.”

Driving the No. 12 Ford, Blaney led four times for 107 laps on the way to the victory. Blaney raced to the front after starting from the rear for unapproved adjustments. He is the first driver to win after going to the rear since Marcos Ambrose at Montreal in 2011.

Blaney’s win comes 11 year after his father, Dave Blaney, won the fall Xfinity race at Charlotte. They are the first father-son duo to win at Charlotte in the Xfinity Series.

Stage 1 winner: Kevin Harvick

Stage 2 winner: Ryan Blaney

MORE: Race results

MORE: Points standings

WHO HAD A GOOD DAY: On the third lap of his Xfinity career, Christopher Bell was turned by Ryan Reed on the frontstretch and slid through the grass. He continued on and battled back to finish fourth. …. Brennan Poole brought out a caution with 42 to go after he got into the frontstretch wall, but managed to finish eighth. … Brad Keselowski finished sixth after starting 39th. He started there after multiple trips through inspection kept him from making a qualifying run. … Brendan Gaughan finished ninth after he spun exiting Turn 4 late in the race.

WHO HAD A BAD DAY: Michael Annett’s day ended with 25 to go when he got into the wall on a restart and went to the garage. He finished 36th …. On the next restart, points leader Elliott Sadler spun in Turn 4 and hit the inside wall hard. He was uninjured and finished 35th … Darrell Wallace Jr. was having his best race of the year, including leading three laps in the final stage, when it came unraveled. He brushed the Turn 4 wall with seven laps to go. He then lost a tire and spun in Turn 2. He finished 28th.

NOTABLE: Not counting the end of each stage, the race was slowed by 10 cautions.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “Give him a sponsor, man. He passed me on a restart and drove away from me. It was awesome.” – Ryan Blaney on his battle for the lead with Darrell Wallace Jr. at the start of the final stage.

WHAT’S NEXT: OneMain Financial 200 at Dover International Speedway at 1 p.m. ET on June 2 on Fox Sports 1.

Kyle Larson fastest in final practice for Coca-Cola 600

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CONCORD, N.C. — Kyle Larson topped the final practice session for Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 with a speed at 186.400 mph.

The Cup points leader, Larson will start 39th in the race because his No. 42 Chevrolet didn’t clear inspection in time to qualify.

Ryan Blaney (185.861), Matt Kenseth (185.046), Kurt Busch (184.856) and Erik Jones (184.818) rounded out the top five.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. was seventh fastest at 184.433 mph. Pole-sitter Kevin Harvick was 20th fastest at 182.648 mph.

Jimmie Johnson recorded the most laps in the session with 47.

Jamie McMurray had the best 10-lap average at 180.914 mph.

The session was stopped for a caution once after Brad Keselowski spun exiting Turn 4.

Click here for the full practice report.