NASCAR issued a unique penalty for body modifications, during the race
On Sunday, NASCAR returned to Kansas City, Kansas. In the Buschy McBusch Race 400, Ryan Newman made his 700th career start in the sport via Kansas Speedway.
In stage one, we saw a unique penalty handed out to the Roush Fenway Racing No. 6 team.
On lap 26, NASCAR threw a competition caution. The entire field hit the pit lane for new tires and one team elected to make some extra adjustments.
Newman’s crew pulled out the right side side skirt and it was now sticking out several inches.
With the skirt flared out, it gives air something to push down on. It adds significant downforce which is crucial on speedway races.
On lap 39, Newman was posted for the violation. About 10 laps after the team pulled out the fender. Newman was forced to pit under green. He had to stop in the box and allow the crew push the side skirt back inward to it’s original position.
“They just went a little too far,” Fox commentator Jeff Gordon stated.
NASCAR requires all teams to pass an optical scan before the race. The entire car is measured and they only have a 1/16 of an inch to play with within the rule book.
Pulling side skirts out by several inches is a very clear violation of the rule book.
In year’s past, NASCAR crew members would put a knee to the back of the door during the first stop, of every race. That would flare out the rear fender, adding downforce.They’d also full out the side skirts.
NASCAR got control of that situation fairly quickly. Teams were flaring out fenders so far that it became a safety issue, causing flat tires upon contact.
Elton Sawyer on pulling side skirts
On Monday, NASCAR elaborated on the call.
“It’s spelled out, black and white in the rulebook,” NASCAR VP of Offciating, Elton Sawyer told Sirius XM. “No body modifications can be made to the vehicle during competition.”
“So, what had happened there on the pit stop, their jackman had gone down and was manipulating the side skirt in front of the rear tire. That area is very critical from a competitive advantage from downforce.”
“We saw that on the cameras. It’s a fairly easy one to call because it’s black and white. We needed to get him back down there, get that cleaned up and move on.”