NASCAR windshield wiper blade rules are set to change in 2019
Last year, a fan asked Kyle Busch why JGR cars were using wipers at Sonoma Raceway.
“It was misting in the morning before the race. We were planning ahead,” Kyle Busch tweeted back on June 25th, 2017.
For those that can’t read between the lines, that was a clear misdirection mixed with light sarcasm. Sonoma Raceway is located in the middle of a desert. Sonoma averages exactly 0 inches of rainfall in the month of June.
Joe Gibbs Racing is far from the only one. A large majority of the race cars will show up to road course events with a wiper blade installed. This weekend at Watkins Glen International is no exception.
Part of this is due to the possibility of rain. If the clouds open, the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series will race in the rain. Though, to date that has yet to happen.
However, rain is far from the only reason for the swinging water repellent devices. Those blades on the winshields add downforce. Teams have created fancy blades to control the air.
What’s the differences between a NASCAR inspection at a road course vs an oval?
“The inspection is really the same process. There’s two things that are a little bit different,” NASCAR SVP Scott Miller stated on ‘The Morning Drive’ via Sirius XM NASCAR Radio.
“Aerodynamics are always important. But, at a road course, it’s slightly diminished in importance from what it would be on a mile and a half oval.”
“So, they typically don’t push the body limits quite as far. The other thing that’s problematic in oval track inspection is the rear wheel alignment, trying to get the back of the car to skew out.”
“Obviously, the gotta turn both ways on a road course. So, that’s more kind of a neutral setup. Those are two areas that are typically problematic. And areas that are performance and areas that they don’t [push] on a road course.”
“As far as the car build. Typical build as far as the suspension to go right and left is different and more symmetrical. Rain tires are an element that is different at a road course.”
“About the only other thing… Because of the rain, we require them to have the ability to put a windshield wiper on there. Just in case it does rain and we race in the rain.”
“The engines are generally the same. There’s a lot of little specific things to a road course. But, really it’s like the same car.”
NASCAR wiper bades
When it comes to NASCAR race car wiper blade installation, the rules are limited. Give the teams an inch and they’ll use the full inch, down to the thousandth.
The teams have been pushing NASCAR’s buttons for the last several years with wiper blades…
What is the NASCAR rule for windshield wipers?
“Well, we’ve typically let them run the wiper blade. Whether it was dry or whether it was not.”
“Ironically, that’s on our list for 2019 rules. We will tell them when they can and when they can’t run the windshield wiper blade.”
“If we see anything this weekend that’s completely outlandish… We will probably react to that. Typically, they’ve been able to run the blade whenever they want to.”
“We’re definitely looking at that.”