Short-Track Package Improvements Earn Praise from NASCAR’s Steve O’Donnell

With the new short-track package Martin Truex Jr raced to fifth-place in Stage 1 after starting from the rear due to an engine change on Sunday, March 8, 2020.
Martin Truex Jr. moved up to the fifth place at the end of Stage 1 after starting at the rear in the NASCAR Cup Series FanShield 500 at Phoenix Raceway. Photo – Chris Graythen/Getty Images

NASCAR’s Short-Track package and the PJ1 allows drivers to make passes at Phoenix

Sunday’s FanShield 500 at Phoenix Raceway passed not only the eye test but also the statistical test, as far as the quality of racing was concerned.

With the NASCAR Cup Series car featuring a significantly smaller spoiler and modifications to the oil pan and splitter, the resulting reduction in downforce produced far more competitive racing than fans witnessed in two Phoenix events last year.

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NASCAR, Charlotte Motor Speedway Announce Format, Technical Specs for Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race


Format Mirrors Last Year’s Thrilling Spectacle

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (April 17, 2019) – Race fans looking for a glimpse into the future need look no further than this year’s Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race.  As demonstrated throughout its illustrious history, NASCAR’s annual all-star spectacular will again provide the platform for the world’s greatest stock car drivers to compete for $1 million dollars, while race teams will get real-world experience with technical components that could be implemented in the next generation car.

The next step in the all-star evolution was unveiled today.

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NASCAR Starts 2019 Season with Competition Updates Ahead of Daytona Speedweeks

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National Series Disqualification Procedures, NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series ‘Triple Truck Challenge,’ among several announcements

Monday afternoon, NASCAR announced updates and initiatives for the 2019 season, which opens this Sunday at Daytona International Speedway. The day starts with a double-header for the Daytona 500 Busch Pole Award Qualifying at 12:10 pm ET on FOX, leading up to the Advance Auto Parts Clash at Daytona at 3 pm ET on FOX Sports 1.

Addressing some lingering issues from last season, NASCAR plans to move their thorough post-race inspections to the track and immediately after national series races. If a vehicle fails post-race inspection, it will be disqualified and the team will move to a last-place finish. This means the team will lose all benefits from the win/finish, along with any stage points. All other vehicles would then move up in the finishing order under this scenario.

Previously, full post-race inspection took place at NASCAR’s Research and Development Center in Concord, NC within a day or two after the race causing a delay in determining post-race penalties for teams. As part of the new initative NASCAR will now inspect the first and second-place vehicles, along with a random vehicle after each event.

“Our industry understands the need to focus on what happens on the race track. We cannot allow inspection and penalties to continue to be a prolonged storyline. Race vehicles are expected to adhere to the rule book from the opening of the garage to the checkered flag.”

Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president of competition and racing development

Fans can expect the disqualification procedure to begin for all three NASCAR national series – the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup, Xfinity and Gander Outdoors Truck Series’.

Additional 2019 competition and personnel updates include the following:

  • The ‘Generation 7’ car in the NASCAR Cup Series is making its debut in the 2021 season is designed to feature new technologies and elements to showcase future production vehicles.

“There is a great deal of interest from our current and potential manufacturer partners to make the cars look even more like they do on the street. This will be an exciting progression in our racing technology that began with the introduction of the 2019 rules package.”

Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president of competition and racing development

  • The NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series is featuring the ‘Triple Truck Challenge’ this season, a bonus program taking place at three consecutive races – Texas on June 7th, Iowa on June 15th, and Gateway on June 22nd. All drivers earning series points are eligible and drivers winning one of the three races earn a $50,000 bonus. Two race wins will net a $150,000 total ($50k per race plus a $50k bonus). Should one driver win all three events, the bonus earnings jumps to $500,000 total ($50k per race win, $50k bonus for winning twice, plus another $300k bonus for sweeping the Challenge races). Cup and Xfinity Series driver are not eligible to compete in the three-race program.
  • NASCAR is also implementing a model of series-specific inspectors. Each national series will have a dedicated team of officials specializing inspections for their respective garages.
  • Qualifying procedures across all three national series remain the same for 2019, with two exceptions. The first round of ‘group qualifying’ for short track and intermediate tracks will shorten to ten minutes in length (previously 15) and the breaks between sessions will be five minutes long (previously seven).
  • The national series driver participation guidelines remain mostly unchanged from 2018. Drivers with more than five years of full-time Cup Series experience are eligible for a maximum of seven Xfinity Series starts and five Truck Series starts. Drivers who elect to accumulate Cup Series points are not eligible to compete in any Dash 4 Cash or Triple Truck Challenge races, or the last eight races in either the Xfinity or Truck Series.
  • As for personnel changes, Ben Kennedy is now elevated to managing director of racing operations and international development. He previously served as general manager of the Truck Series. His new responsibilities include initiatives aimed at growing the sport, including managing NASCAR’s growth on the international scene.
  • NASCAR is also introducing assistant directors for each series – Kip Childress (Cup), Seth Kramlich (Xfinity), and Jesse Dollevoet (Trucks).

NASCAR kicks off their 2019 season with ‘Speedweeks’ at Daytona International Speedway with ten days of activity starting this Sunday and culminating with the 61st running of the Daytona 500 on Sunday, February 17th at 2:30 pm ET on FOX.

NASCAR Unveils 2019 Monster Energy Cup Competition Package—with an Eye to the Future

CONCORD, N.C. – From a technical standpoint, the rules package NASCAR is incorporating into the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series for 2019 will feature a car with higher downforce and lower horsepower—with the hope of fostering closer racing. Continue reading

Innovative Format for Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race Announced

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The competition package and format for NASCAR’s highly anticipated May 19 Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race will have a new look, one the sanctioning body feels confident will provide a lot of excitement for both fans and drivers in the annual non-points event. Continue reading