Encumbered finishes: (2016-2018)
An encumbered win is when a NASCAR driver wins a race then fails post-race inspection. They could also fail an in-race inspection, which is rarely seen in use.
But, the use of encumbered isn’t limited to race winners. That applies to any driver who crosses the line then fails inspections.
The penalty was introduced in September 2016. At the conclusion of the 2017 season, it turned out to be maybe the biggest penalty in history.
Joey Logano won a race early in the 2017 season. He went the rest of the year without a win. As a result, he failed to transfer into the playoffs, despite having a win.
The removal of the word encumbered should not to be confused with a removal of the penalty. That penalty still exists. The only thing crossed out has been the use of the term ‘encumbered’.
Going forward, it is yet to be determined what NASCAR will rename the penalty.
A very small section of the NASCAR rulebook has been posted below.
.b All L1 and L2 Penalties that are discovered Pre-Race may consist of a Points deduction, and/or suspension of crew chief and/or other team members, and/or fines. NASCAR, in its sole discretion, may issue a Points deduction less than the minimum outlines in the Minimum Penalty Options chart.
c. All L1 and L2 Penalties that are discovered In-Race or Post-Race will consist of all
four three Penalty categories, unless otherwise stated herein: encumbered finish Points deduction, suspension of crew chief and/or other team members, and fines. In addition, they will have the following effects on the Race finish, as applicable:
- The finish will not count when determining eligibility for the Playoffs, Playoff Points in the Playoff seeding, eligibility for advancement in the Playoffs, eligibility for non-Championship Event, tie-breakers (see section 17 Points and Point Funds) and as those tie-breakers may be applied relative to finishing positions elsewhere.
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