DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (February 4, 2019)
NASCAR today announced several initiatives and procedural updates for the 2019 season. Which officially opens this weekend at Daytona International Speedway with an action-pack Sunday double-header. Daytona 500 Busch Pole Award Qualifying (12:10 p.m. ET on FOX, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). Plus the Advance Auto Parts Clash at Daytona (3 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).
NASCAR Moving Post-Race Inspections From Development Center to Track
Among the announcements made today was NASCAR’s plan to move its thorough post-race inspection to the race track immediately following each national series race. If a vehicle fails post-race inspection, it will be disqualified. Resulting in a last-place finish and the loss of all benefits from the win/finish, as well as any stage points. All other vehicles would move up in the finishing order under this scenario.
NASCAR will inspect the first- and second-place vehicles, as well as a random vehicle, after each event. Previously, full post-race inspections took place at the NASCAR Research & Development Center in Concord, N.C.
“Our industry understands the need to focus on what happens on the race track,” said Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president of competition and racing development. “We cannot allow inspection and penalties to continue to be a prolonged storyline. Race vehicles are expected to adhere to the rule book from the opening of the garage to the checkered flag.”
The disqualification procedure will be implemented for all three NASCAR national series, the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, the NASCAR Xfinity Series, and the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series.
What This Step Means
NASCAR will no longer wait until Wednesday after the race to announce penalties. Infractions of the rules will result in immediate action announced at the track. Under the old process, NASCAR was hesitant to take away a race win even if the winning car was found to have cheated. Loss of points and big dollar fines were the threat to keep competitors in line.
Now fans will have more immediate notice of how penalties will affect their favorite drivers and race teams.
NASCAR Also Unveiled Several Other Competition Updates for 2019:
- O’Donnell announced that the “Generation 7” car in the Monster Energy Series is scheduled to make its debut for the 2021 season and will be designed to feature new technologies and elements that showcase future production vehicles.
“There is a great deal of interest from our current and potential manufacturer partners to make the cars look even more like they do on the street,” O’Donnell said. “This will be an exciting progression in our racing technology that began with the introduction of the 2019 rules package.”
- NASCAR has implemented a model of series-specific inspectors. Each national series will have a dedicated team of officials who will specialize in inspections for their respective garages.
- Qualifying procedures across all three national series remain the same for 2019, with the exception that the first round of ‘group qualifying’ for short track and intermediate tracks will shorten to 10 minutes in length (previously 15) and the breaks between sessions will be five minutes long (previously seven).
- The national series driver participation guidelines remain mostly unchanged from 2018. Drivers with more than five years of full-time Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series experience are eligible for a maximum of seven NASCAR Xfinity Series starts and five NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series starts. Drivers who elect to accumulate Monster Energy Series points are not eligible to compete in any Dash 4 Cash or Triple Truck Challenge races, or the final eight races in either the Xfinity Series or the Gander Outdoors Truck Series. In addition, drivers who earn points in the Xfinity Series are ineligible to compete in Triple Truck Challenge races and the Championship race for the Gander Outdoors Truck Series.
The 2019 NASCAR Season Kicks Off
In addition to Daytona 500 Busch Pole Qualifying and the Advance Auto Parts Clash at Daytona on Sunday, Feb 10th. Several other events mark the Speedweeks build up to the 61st running of the Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 17 at 2:30 p.m.
Thursday, February 14th: The “Duel at Daytona” determines starting positions for the 500.
Friday, February 15th: NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series Race, NextEra Energy 250.
Saturday, February 16th: NASCAR Xfinity Series Race, the NASCAR Racing Experience 300.
Sunday, February 17th: The 61st running of “The Great American Race.”
The Lasco Press will be at Daytona “Live” bringing you all the action of the NASCAR 2019 opening race week action.