2020 NASCAR rules will reduce Cup road crew members at track

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NASCAR announced Tuesday that it delivered the 2020 rules to Cup teams. Changes include a reduction in the number of Cup road crew members at the track and a limit on how much wind-tunnel testing Cup teams can do.

Cup teams are allowed up to 12 road crew members (crew chief, engineers, mechanics, shock specialist, tire specialist, spotter, etc.) per team this season but that number will drop to 10. The move is being done as a cost-cutting measure for teams. The five-member pit crew for each team is not a part of the 10-member road crew limit.

Also teams with three or more cars were allowed up to four roster spots in addition to the road crew limit. That changes to three next year, matching the maximum for teams with one or two cars.

NASCAR has never mandated how many hours of wind-tunnel testing teams can do but that will change next year. Teams will be allowed no more than 150 hours of wind-tunnel testing in the calendar year for 2020. Teams will be required to submit paperwork to NASCAR before such tests that will state how many hours they will be in the wind tunnel.

Wind tunnel tests will only be permitted at:

  • Aerodyn Wind Tunnel (full scale) in Mooresville, North Carolina
  • Auto Research Center (scale model) in Indianapolis
  • Penske Technology Group Wind Tunnel (scale model) in Mooresville, North Carolina
  • Windshear Wind Tunnel (full scale) in Concord, North Carolina

NASCAR stated that additional wind tunnel facilities may be added to the list of approved sites.

NASCAR also stated that wind-tunnel testing hours are not transferrable to other organizations. Attempts to do so will result in the hours being voided for all organizations involved.

Manufacturers are not permitted to perform any wind tunnel testing outside of 2021 Next Gen car development. There is no restriction of wind tunnel testing for the 2021 car for manufacturers.

Many of the rules will remain largely unchanged as the sport prepares for the significant changes set to come in 2021 with the expected arrival of the new car.

Among the noteworthy rules for 2020:

  • The current extended parts freeze will remain in place through 2020 with exceptions. The latest deadline submission date is Feb. 25, 2020 for centerlinks, track bar slider assemblies and truck trailing arm spacer/pinion angle shims.
  • Each car number will be permitted to have a maximum of 12 certified chassis at any given time. In addition, each organization will be permitted to have a maximum of 10 unique chassis designs.
  • Teams must compete in a minimum of eight events with a long block sealed engine and at least eight with a short block sealed engine (this year teams had to run three long block sealed engines and 12 short block sealed engines.)
  • Each team will be allowed three roster spots regardless of number of vehicles in the organization. In addition, a maximum of 10 road crew personnel will be allowed on each roster.
  • Organizations will be permitted a total of 150 wind tunnel testing hours per calendar year.

With the rule that teams will be allowed a maximum of 12 certified chassis, a team only will be permitted to retire and replace a chassis with a different one when:

  • The chassis has incurred damages during a race incident and the damage is determined by NASCAR to be significant enough to warrant replacement
  • The chassis has been used as the primary vehicle (meaning it has taken the green flag to start the race) at a minimum three events by the same organization during the 2020 season
  • The chassis has incurred damage due to a race incident but has exhausted its major repairs and cannot be updated to either its original or any of the remaining declared designs.