NASCAR warned Sprint Cup competitors not to “circumvent what happens for postrace inspection” during the drivers meeting Sunday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
NASCAR later confirmed the warning also meant that teams should not be swerving after the race as they do to ensure that their car meets postrace requirements.
Steve O’Donnell, executive vice president and chief racing development officer, addressed competitors at the beginning of Sunday’s meeting.
“We appreciate everybody being here today,’’ O’Donnell said after introducing VIPs. “I know they’ve come here to see a race. With that in mind, there has been a lot of dialogue in what takes place after the checkered flag with postrace inspection.
“I want to make clear to everybody here that in NASCAR’s judgment any measures that are taken to circumvent what happens for postrace inspection we’re going to react. We know that’s subjective but ask all of you not to put it in our hands because we will react if we have to. I think everybody knows what that means.
“We want to concentrate on the race. We want to celebrate the winner for the second race of this Chase. Couldn’t be more clear. I hope everybody agrees with that and hope everybody has a great race.’’
His comments came after NASCAR announced this week that it would not penalize Martin Truex Jr. and Jimmie Johnson for failing the Laser Inspection Station last weekend at Chicagoland Speedway. NASCAR announced it would do away with what previously triggered P2 and P3 penalties for such an infraction. That gives teams an additional tolerance before a P4 penalty would be invoked.
NASCAR also stated earlier this week that every Chase car eligible for the championship will go through inspection after the race. All 16 cars remain eligible at New Hampshire. When the field is cut to 12 after Dover, then all those cars will go through inspection. Same as when the Chase field is cut to eight teams and then to four.