By Keith Waltz
NASCAR has a new policy concerning vehicles damaged during events in the sanctioning body’s three national touring series – the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, the NASCAR XFINITY Series and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
The policy eliminates the practice of wrecked cars limping around the race track after lengthy repairs in the garage area.
Now, cars and trucks damaged in accidents must be repaired on pit road within five minutes and then must be able to maintain the race’s minimum speed. Cars that are towed to the garage area or those that are unable to be repaired within the allotted time are not allowed to continue.
“We have a lot of cars that are going back on the track that end up in 38th position, for instance, that probably don’t need to be out there from a safety and competition aspect,” Scott Miller, NASCAR senior vice president of competition, said in announcing the new policy.
Body repairs are limited to the removal or reattachment of original body parts with fasteners and tape.
The five-minute clock starts when the damaged car enters pit road and it stops when the car crosses the yellow line at pit-road exit.
The new policy applies specifically to wrecked vehicles. Repairs for mechanical failures, such as a transmission or rear-end gear, may still be made in the garage area.