NASCAR: Rule Change Keeps Damaged Cars Out Of Race

It was only a few weeks ago that NASCAR announced a new format that is guaranteed to change the way in which racing will happen this season. Today, NASCAR announced another new rule that will certainly have an impact on how points are earned during the season.

In 2017 NASCAR will have new rules and restrictions on what teams can do when it comes to repairing damaged cars and putting them back out onto the track.

The gist of it is that teams will have 5:00 to make repairs on pit road. Should a team not be able to make the needed repairs within those five minutes, or should they be required to go to the garage, that car will not be allowed to come back into the race.

The rule isn’t across the board however.

The 5:00 rule does not apply to damaged panels. In 2017 teams will not longer be able to replace panels or damaged sheet metal that is the result of an accident or contact on the track. In the past we have seen teams replace noses, spoilers, deck lids, hoods etc. quite quickly on pit road or in the garage in get cars back out there, in 2017 that will not be allowed.

The above video explains what is and is not allowed when it comes to repairs this season. This rule also doesn’t apply to changing broken parts, in those situations there isn’t a clock in play.

Scott Miller, NASCAR senior vice president of competition explained to NASCAR.com why all of these changes are taking place this season.

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, because they always tend to bring out more yellows with stuff falling off.

There will be many circumstances and many things happen and you will continue to see it where cars are in wrecks and never go to the garage area. They come down pit road, they work on things … and they go back out and make minimum speed. They continue to work on the car as the race goes on. That will still completely be in play.

This change will also impact the playoffs. At a track like Daytona or Talladega a driver who struggles early will no longer have the chance to repair their car, wait for the big one, and pickup 10+ more spots in the running order because they got back out there and half the field wrecked later on in the race.

The idea of cars heading to the garage and working hard to get back out there will be gone. In 2017, heading to the garage officially marks the end of your day.

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