written warnings

NASCAR overhauls its system for issuing penalties


NASCAR has overhauled its deterrence procedures for at-track inspections, focusing on penalizing teams during a race weekend for minor infractions rather than waiting a few days.

Moving away from a six-tier penalty system that had been in place since 2014, NASCAR now will prioritize containing infractions to the race weekend on which they occurred.

Most penalties that once fell on the P1-4 scale and were administered on the following Tuesday or Wednesday now will be dealt with during the race weekend.

The severity, timing and recurrence will determine when penalties are issued, but violations involving such parts as radiators, exhaust headers sway bars, shock absorbers, truck arms, hubs, pinion angle shims, and bump stops could fall under those that could be dealt with at the track.

Among the potential penalties at track: loss of hard cards, loss of practice time, loss of pit selection, rear of field, green-flag pass through and green-flag stop and go.

NASCAR also has eradicated the written warnings that teams received for more than two failures of its Laser Inspection Stations (LIS). A cumulative total of four warnings would have led to the loss of pit stall selection.

Under the new rules, failing inspection twice or more could lead to at-track penalties.

Penalties that rose to the previous level of a P5 or P6 still will be issued after the event. NASCAR has rebranded them L1 and L2 penalties. Among the infractions that fall under those categories: certified chassis, fuel storage, gear ratios, minimum weight and height, traction control, telemetry, electronic fuel injection, fuel additives, tires, illegal testing and fewer than 17 lug nuts.

NASCAR will continue to monitor lug nuts after a race, ensuring teams have all 20 safe and secure on their cars’ wheels. If a team has 17 or fewer lug nuts, it’s an L1 penalty with a three-race crew chief suspension and a $65,000 fine. For 18 lug nuts, a team receives a $20,000 fine and a one-race crew chief suspension. For 19 lug nuts, a $10,000 fine is issued.

The inspection process also is being tweaked. The opening inspection of a race weekend will focus only on fuel systems, engines and safety components.

During prequalifying and prerace inspection, a more rigorous check will be made of fuel systems, engines, safety components, chassis, templates and weights and measurements.

A failure at a station will necessitate a car correcting the problem at its garage stall and then returning to the first station for full inspection (regardless of whether previous stations had been passed; a change from the previous policy).

Denny Hamlin, two others lose pit stall selection

(Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
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FORT WORTH, Texas — Denny Hamlin‘s team has lost pit selection for Sunday’s AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway.

Hamlin, one of the eight remaining drivers in the Chase for the Sprint Cup, received his fourth written warning for an inspection failure. NASCAR did not say what portion of inspection the No. 11 team failed.

Roush Fenway Racing teammates Trevor Bayne and Greg Biffle also lose pit selection.

Hamlin, who finished third at Martinsville last weekend, qualified 17th for Sunday’s race. Biffle starts 25th and Bayne 26th.

MORE: Denny Hamlin nears speeding penalty mark


Carl Edwards, Matt Kenseth receive fourth warnings at Kansas, will lose pit selection

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Three Chase for the Sprint Cup teams were among eight that received written warnings at Kansas Speedway.

The Joe Gibbs Racing teams of Carl Edwards and Matt Kenseth each received a fourth warning, which means loss of pit selection in the next race. Sunday’s race at Talladega Superspeedway is the last in the Round of 12, eliminating four drivers.

The No. 20 of Kenseth failed preace laser inspection three times. Kenseth also will lose 15 minutes of practice time this weekend.

The No. 19 of Edwards failed prerace laser inspection twice.

The No. 42 of Kyle Larson, who was eliminated after the first round of the Chase, received a fourth warning after failing prerace laser inspection twice.

The No. 1 of Jamie McMurray received a fourth warning for failing qualifying inspection and lost pit selection at Kansas.

Martin Truex Jr., who is in the Chase, received his second and third warnings for failing qualifying template inspection twice and prerace laser inspection twice.

The No. 3 of Austin Dillon and No. 7 of Regan Smith received their first warnings for failing prerace template inspection twice.

The No. 55 of Cole Whitt earned its second warning for failing qualifying laser inspection twice.

In the Xfinity Series, four teams received written warnings.

The No. 48 of Brennan Poole received its first and the No. 70 of Derrike Cope received its second for failing prerace template inspection three times.

The No. 5 of Cole Custer received its second warning and the No. 86 of Brandon Brown received its first for failing prerace laser inspection twice.

NASCAR issues 20 warnings to 18 teams for inspection failures at Charlotte

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NASCAR issued 20 warnings to Sprint Cup teams for various infractions in prequalifying and prerace inspection last weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

The No. 41 Chevrolet of Chase for the Sprint Cup contender Kurt Busch received its fourth warning, meaning a loss of pit stall selection for Sunday’s race at Kansas Speedway.

Here’s the breakdown:

–LIS laser inspection station failure, three times in prequalifying: Paul Menard’s No. 27

–LIS laser inspection station failure, twice in prequalifying: Ricky Stenhouse Jr.’s No. 17; Matt Kenseth’s No. 20; David Ragan’s No. 23; Chase Elliott’s No. 24;Ryan Newman’s No. 31; Chris Buescher’s No. 34, Aric Almirola’s No. 43.

–Failing template inspection three times in prequalifying: Josh Wise’s No. 30.

 –Failing template inspection twice in prequalifying: Kevin Harvick’s No. 4, Danica Patrick’s No. 10, Tony Stewart’s No. 14, Alex Bowman’s No. 88.

–Failing prerace template inspection twice in prerace: Trevor Bayne’s No. 6, Regan Smith’s No. 7, Kenseth’s No. 20, Kurt Busch’s No. 41, Kyle Larson’s No. 42, Martin Truex Jr.’s No. 78, Bowman’s No. 88.

Menard and Wise will lose 15 minutes of practice time at Kansas Speedway.

It also was the fourth warning for Smith, who will lose pit stall selection at Kansas.

Kenseth, Larson, Stenhouse and Almirola each have three warnings and would lose pit stall selection with the next warning.


Five Sprint Cup teams receive written warnings; Keselowski, Stewart lose pit selection

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NASCAR issued written warnings to five Sprint Cup teams last weekend at Darlington Raceway, including the fourth warnings to the teams of Brad Keselowski and Tony Stewart.

Keselowski and Stewart will lose pit stall selection for this weekend’s race at Richmond International Raceway. Receiving a fourth written warning results in losing pit selection.

Stewart’s car failed pre-race template inspection twice. Keselowski’s car failed pre-race laser inspection three times.

Carl Edwards‘ team also received a third warning for failing pre-race laser inspection three times. Edwards and Keselowski will both lose 15 minutes of practice time Friday at Richmond.

The teams of Joey Logano and Jeffrey Earnhardt each received their third written warnings for failing pre-race laser inspection twice.

NASCAR also fined Ryan Blaney $1,000 for not wearing gloves during practice for the Southern 500, which is a P1 penalty.