NASCAR VP of Officiating and Technical Inspection explains how NASCAR runs damaged cars through tech inspection
“We capped it off with some very exciting racing. We tore up a few more cars than we would like but all in all I think it was a great race,” stated Elton Sawyer, NASCAR VP of Officiating and Technical Inspection to Sirius XM Speedway.
Talladega Rules Package
“If you watched the race yesterday you’ve got Brendan Gaughan in a team that doesn’t run with us every week. And they’re leading the race!, Elton Sawyer comments on the restrictor plate rules package.
“When you drive into Talladega, whether you’re a top-tier team with the financial backing that you need or you’re a team that doesn’t run with us every week… You go there and you have the opportunity to complete at a high level.”
“We feel pretty good about that package today. As always, we’re looking, how can we make it better? More entertaining to the fans? More cost effective to the car owners? That a delicate balance there. But I think right now we’re in a pretty good place.”
How does NASCAR inspect a car with damage?
“Well, that’s a great question,” Elton Sawyer, NASCAR VP of Officiating and Technical Inspection states with a laugh to Sirius XM Speedway.
“In the playoff’s, we take the top 16 post-race and we run them across heights and weights in our LIS machine.”
“In a situation, like Talladega, where we have quite a few of our playoff contenders and even our top 5 finishers that have some pretty significant damage… We take that in consideration. You know, we’ll run them across. You know, the way the measurements [and] printout will look, we’ll take that in consideration.”
“But, I will say, and I’ll back up to Charlotte where the #18 car was basically destroyed. We got a lot of questions from our fans about the laser inspection machine but that car, post-race after Charlotte last week went through and passed every measurement on the LIS. Although the body was completely destroyed.”
“We saw that again at Talladega with our finishing vehicles. Yeah, we have to take that [damage] into consideration for sure.”
Only 14 cars made it across the finish line at Talladega. There wasn’t a car in the field without damage.
In addition, this answer would likely be the same for burnout damage. Burnouts until the tires explode has become a hot topic in recent weeks. It’s implied that teams tear up the cars after a win to endure a less detailed post-race inspection.
NASCAR Spec Engine
Johnny Sauter tested the NASCAR spec engine on Saturday after the NASCAR Truck Series race.
“They ran about an hour there with the Ilmor engine,” Elton Sawyer, NASCAR VP of Officiating and Technical Inspection states to Sirius XM Speedway.