(Photo Source: Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
Of the 2019 package and rules changes, the most exciting new rule on the books this season moves post-race inspection to the track itself instead of the cars being taken to the R&D Center in Concord North Carolina. The first and second place cars and a third, randomly chose car will be pulled for inspection as usual; however, the teardown of the vehicles will take place at the track itself. If a “major” infraction is found the win will be immediately taken away from the driver. Let me repeat that: thewin will be taken away and directly credited to the second place car (providing they pass inspection as well. There are no incumbered wins anymore. If a driver has the win taken away, they will be scored last and receive one point.
This is excited and precisely what fans have been wanting and calling for.
There will also be stiffer penalties for failing pre-qualifying and pre-race inspections. If a car fails pre-qualifying inspection, it will not be allowed to qualify at all. There will also be the removal of team members (I am assuming at least the car chief) from the team and practice time will be docked.
For pre-race inspections, if a car fails twice, it immediate starts at the rear of the field. If it fails three times, the car will suffer a pass-through penalty after the beginning of the race. The result of driving down pit road (at the pit speed limit) while the race is green will be more devastating to the team and put them at a disadvantage of having to make up positions, possibly even a lap depending on the track.
NASCAR is meaning business with these stiffer penalties. Personally, I am a fan of moving the inspections to the track. It means that we don’t have to wait for DAYS to find out if there are any penalties. Stiffing the penalties to pre-qualifying and pre-race inspection means we won’t have any of these cars who can’t get through inspection because they are running through so many times. You fail, you get one chance to make it right without penalty. Then you start to suffer consequences. I like it.