# NASCAR rules and regulations

NASCAR logo

The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) makes and enforces numerous rules and regulations that transcend all racing series.

NASCAR issues a different rule book for each racing series; however, rule books are published exclusively for NASCAR members and are not made available to the public.[1] Still, many of the rules, such as the scoring system, have been widely publicized both by NASCAR and the media.

## Car livery

Each car is required to display its number on each door of the car and on its roof. The front of the car and bottom of the rear bumper are required to match the decal specifications of the car manufacturer. Each car is required to display a series of around 30 NASCAR sponsor decals just to the left of each door and on the front fenders. These contingency decals represent series sponsors and bonus money teams are eligible to earn during the race, but may be omitted in the event in which they conflict with the team's sponsors or moral beliefs.[2][3] The series sponsor's logo is displayed on top of the windshield, called the windshield header or windshield banner.[4][3]

Beginning in 2013, the livery layout for the NASCAR Cup Series was altered, coinciding with the change to the Generation 6 model car. In lieu of the series sponsor like in lower series, the windshield prominently features the last name of the driver (as well as first name or first initial in the case of siblings and family members, as is the case for both Busch brothers, or suffixes for drivers such as Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and Martin Truex, Jr.) placed in the center of the windshield header. Logos of the manufacturer are placed on each corner of the upper windshield. Number and sponsor logos were barred from being placed on the headlights and taillights, as not to obstruct each car model's unique characteristics. A new location for a single sponsor logo, however, was added to the rear of the roof adjacent to the number.[5] In 2014, a new layout was created for participants in the NASCAR Chase for the Championship, requiring the cars to feature yellow roof numbers, front splitters and front fascias. The background of the windshield header would also be colored yellow, with the driver's name displayed in black lettering. A new Chase for the Championship logo would replace the normal NASCAR Cup Series logo in the contingency group. A decal would also be placed next to the driver's name above the door to signify each win a driver earned that season.[6] For 2015, the liveries of the Xfinity and Camping World Truck Series would feature the driver's last name on the upper rear window.[7] During the Monster Energy Cup Series era from 2017 to 2019, the Monster Energy logo was on the front windshield with the driver name moving to the rear windshield.

Outside of these requirements, teams may design the car and place sponsor logos in NASCAR-approved locations, and must submit all paint and graphics schemes and all sponsor identity to NASCAR in advance for approval.[8] One paint scheme requirement for example is that both the driver and passenger side of the car must share the same color pattern, though the front and rear may be different colors. This safety rule, to avoid confusion for spotters, NASCAR officials, and other drivers, was brought into light in October 2014 at Talladega, when Terry Labonte's Go FAS Racing team painted his No. 32 car in two different color schemes as a tribute to the two-time champion, but prior to NASCAR approval. NASCAR allowed the team to retain the scheme for knock-out qualifying, but forced them to match the two sides for the race.[9] However, by 2016, it seems that NASCAR has either quietly removed this rule or allowed teams to race with a split-side scheme as long as they got the permission to do so, as seen with John Hunter Nemechek's No. 8 truck in the 2016 American Ethanol E15 225 and both the No. 3 and No. 31 cars of RDV Compétition during the 2016 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series.

Teams apply to NASCAR for the use of a car number, and pay for the rights to the number's likeness. NASCAR legally owns and controls all rights to car numbers.[10][8] When drivers change teams, the team owner usually retains the number. Unlike in other series, such as the former IROC Series, there is no provision for the defending series champion or the points leader to adopt car number 1; it is available to any team. Only one number, No. 61, in the Whelen Modified Tour, has been retired, in memory of nine-time series champion Richie Evans, who was killed at Martinsville Speedway practicing for the final race of the 1985 season.[11] Other historically significant numbers have been ceremoniously retired, except with the permission of the driver or team owner. The number 3 for example, used by Dale Earnhardt and his car owner Richard Childress, has been unofficially retired for all teams and drivers except for an Earnhardt or Childress family member, with Childress paying a licensing fee while the number was out of circulation from 2001 to 2013.[10][12] In other instances, a number has been relinquished due to a sponsor leaving a team. After the 2002 season, Robert Yates Racing switched from their longtime number 28 to 38 after sponsor Texaco-Havoline ceased their sponsorship.[13][14]

Teams can run numbers from 0 to 99 (as well as 00 to 09), but no two cars can display the same number during a race.[8] Teams that run 00 to 09 are listed as 100 to 109 for NASCAR's scoring purposes. Except for those numbers (which have been used for full-time teams), part-time teams may be assigned a three-digit number for scoring purposes only (such as Nos. 141 and 241). If two such teams arrive with the same two digit number, the team higher in championship points prevails, and the other team will be forced to change their number for the race.

### Tobacco

Although NASCAR has a long history of tobacco sponsorship, following the 2003 season, longtime NASCAR partner R. J. Reynolds declined to renew their Winston sponsorship of the Cup Series, replaced by Nextel Corporation.[15] In June 2010, the Food and Drug Administration passed new regulations preventing sponsorship for cigarettes or smokeless tobacco products in any sporting event, including auto racing events. The announcement affected two teams: the No. 33 Truck of Ron Hornaday, Jr. and Kevin Harvick, Inc. lost its Longhorn Moist Snuff sponsorship, while the No. 27 Nationwide Series car of Baker Curb Racing lost its Red Man sponsorship.[16] Baker Curb would shut its doors the next year due to lack of sponsorship.

In spite of the legislation, tobacco sponsorship continues in the sports through electronic cigarettes, with companies such as Green Smoke, blu (owned by R.J. Reynolds), and Arrowhead sponsoring NASCAR teams. A brand of herbal smokeless tobacco, Smokey Mountain, has also sponsored drivers such as Hornaday, Johnny Sauter, Brian Scott, and Daniel Hemric.

### Viceroy rule

Though NASCAR typically promotes competition between multiple brands, including those that sponsor the sport and individual races, the sanctioning body provides exclusive protection to its series title sponsors, such as Monster Energy in the Cup Series, as well as current fuel supplier Sunoco.[17] This policy, known as the Viceroy rule, prevents sponsorship from direct competitors within a certain series, although it does not prevent a company from moving to a different series within the sport, or advertising a product that does not directly conflict with the title sponsor. For example, Royal Dutch Shell, Texaco and other oil companies have been allowed to promote their motor oil brands (Pennzoil and Havoline respectively) but not their gasoline products.[17] When a new title sponsor creates conflicts with existing team sponsors, NASCAR typically allows the team sponsors to remain under a grandfather clause.[18] The rule is named after the British cigarette brand Viceroy, and is in reference to the 1972 USAC Championship Car season during which title sponsor Marlboro renounced its branding when Viceroy entered the sport to sponsor entries.[19][20]

• L2 penalties involve more egregious infractions concerning tampering with the three "no man's land" technical areas of tires, engine and fuel. Major safety violations, the use of telemetry or traction control, plus breaches of the testing policy also fall under the L2 designation. These penalties will be a 75-point deduction, a 4-6 race suspension, and a fine up to $200,000. • Disqualification: Starting in 2019, a car failing post-race inspection will be disqualified and credited with a last place finish. This can result in a win being taken away if the winner fails post-race inspection. • The list of pre-race penalties within a race weekend at the series directors' disposal, in order of increasing severity: Loss of annual "hard card" credential, loss of practice time, loss of pit selection position, tail of the field penalty, a green-flag pass-through on pit road after the initial start, a green-flag stop-and-go in the pits after the start, and lap(s) penalty. As a member of ACCUS/FIA, NASCAR has a substance abuse policy requiring random testing of drivers, crew members, and officials. Those who have violated the policy (including suspensions for domestic violence) are suspended indefinitely immediately and given the opportunity to enroll in NASCAR's Road to Recovery program to be re-instated into NASCAR. On January 28, 2019, NASCAR unveiled its new Sports Betting Policy, which prohibits team owners, drivers, crew members and series officials from gambling on NASCAR or disclosing confidential information that could enable or facilitate betting on NASCAR events. Offenders could face fines of up to$200,000 as well as indefinite suspension or termination. NASCAR will continue to permit members to take part in fantasy sports provided the prize value is under $250.[36] The new policy was in reaction to the May 2018 Supreme Court of the United States ruling that struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992, which allowed US states to authorize legal wagering.[37] ## Pit road NASCAR officials on pit road at Sonoma Raceway During a race, teams must pit several times for refueling and new tires. Teams are permitted five crew members over the wall at the start of the race; that consists of two tire changers, one tire carrier, a jackman, and a gas man. Once NASCAR gives the OK (usually once the leader begins lapping cars), a 6th crew member is permitted only to service the driver/windshield. With the 2018 NASCAR rule changes, the gas man is now not allowed to make any adjustments to the car when refueling it. There is an established pit road speed limit for each race. Since NASCAR cars do not have speedometers, the first pace lap of each race is run at pit road speed so drivers can get a tachometer reading for pit speed. There are a variety of other safety rules (see penalties above) that must be followed. At the moment of caution or when there are two laps to go in the stage, pit road is immediately closed. NASCAR uses both a light at the end of pit road and a series of cameras to help determine the moment pit road is closed. The pits are opened once the field is under control of the pace/safety car unless there is an accident near the entrance/exit or on pit road, in which case the pits will remain closed until NASCAR deems the pits are safe to open. After an incident at the June 2015 Chicagoland Xfinity race where the pit flagman waved a green flag but the light at the end of pit road was red, NASCAR added a light to the rear of the pace/safety car to help inform drivers and teams when pit road will be open, and thus removed the flagman from the entrance of pit road. NASCAR's official policy is that in the event of a discrepancy, the light at the end of pit road is official. Cars sustaining accident damage that cannot be repaired on pit road within 6 minutes will automatically be removed from the rest of the race. Speeding on pit road will see that time reduced by 15 seconds per infraction. Further, teams are not allowed to replace bodywork once the race begins. Teams using more than 5 crew members will be penalized 2 laps. ## Crew rosters For the 2018 season, NASCAR created a new roster system. This system would standardize the number of at-track team members. Rosters are split into three categories: Organizational, Road Crew, and Pit Crew. Examples of Organizational roster spots include competition director, team managers, technical director, IT specialists. In the Cup Series, teams are allotted three organizational roster spots for one- and two-car operations, and four spots for three- and four-car outfits. XFINITY and Gander Outdoors Truck Series teams are allowed one organizational roster spot each. Examples of Road Crew include crew chief, car chief, mechanics, engine tuners, engineers, specialists (for areas such as tires, aerodynamics and shocks) and spotters. The limits for these personnel by series: Cup, 12; Xfinity, 7; Trucks, 6. Pit Crews are the same in all series, with the maximum number being 5. The exceptions to these numbers are slight. Cup Series teams are allowed one extra road crew position at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the three road courses (Sonoma, Watkins Glen, Charlotte), where teams often use multiple spotters. Also, an additional road crew roster spot will be allowed for Xfinity teams at 10 races and Truck Series teams at five. [38] ## Race procedure Starting in 2017, NASCAR announced they may reserve the right to move up the start of the race one hour to beat inclement weather (heavy rain and lightning on road courses). Two hours before the race, drivers and crew chiefs attend a mandatory driver's meeting. They are required to attend in person, and no exceptions are allowed (which has caused trouble with drivers attempting the Memorial Day Double). Failure to attend the meeting will force drivers to start at the rear of the field. In August 2015, NASCAR announced they would experiment moving the driver's meeting to only one hour before the race since meetings at most races take less than 15 minutes. Roughly a 30 to 45 minutes before the race start time, driver introductions will be held. Failure to attend these will also require the driver to start at the rear of the field as well. At the designated start time, a pre-race invocation is given, followed by the singing of the national anthem. Once the anthem is complete, drivers have exactly five minutes to get in their cars with all the safety equipment fastened and ready to go. At the end of those five minutes, the grand marshal for the race will deliver the command "Drivers, start your engines!", at which point each car must start its engine. With the engines running, the cars sit on pit road for approximately three minutes before heading on the track for some warm-up laps before the pace car. The average number of pace laps is three, but there can be more or less depending on a wide variety of circumstances and conditions, including but not limited to track length, track drying efforts after rain, or if a car has a problem and stops on the track during those pace laps. At the end of the pace laps, the field will partake in a rolling start. If the last lap of the race is started under caution, the race will be extended per NASCAR Overtime. Once the track is clear, the field will be given the green flag with two laps remaining. If there is another crash/caution before the leader reaches the start/finish line, then the race will continue to be extended until the leader reaches the line. However, when the leader of the race reaches the start/finish line, the next flag (caution or checkered) will end the race (although competitors are required to cross the start/finish line at pace car speed to be scored in their position at the moment of caution). After the race, the winning driver (and, if at the end of the season, championship winning driver) will usually complete a series of burnouts in celebration of their victory, before heading to victory lane for more celebrations and post-race interviews. ## Safety Since late 2001, a head and neck restraint has been required for usage of all drivers. Since 2005 the HANS Device (Head and Neck Support Device) has been the only such approved device. Since 2003, helmets have been required for pit crew members as well. Drivers and pit crew members must also wear firesuits. Drivers are required to use carbon fiber seats and headrests for strength and durability. Cars have also been redesigned since the 2001 death of Dale Earnhardt and after spectacular crashes to reflect new discoveries and developments in safety. All oval tracks in any of NASCAR's National Series (except Eldora) use the SAFER Barrier and other soft wall technology to lessen impacts. After a series of flips and dangerous crashes in the 1980s, NASCAR began requiring all cars to run a restrictor plate at Daytona and Talladega. The restrictor plate limits air into the engine, reducing horsepower and speed at these tracks from 230-240 mph to 195-200 mph. At these races, in addition to the restrictor plate, there are a variety of other technical rules and regulations to keep the cars stable and on the track. In addition to these technical rules, restrictor plate races are the only races where drivers are prohibited from using the apron of the track to execute a pass. A double yellow line separates the track from the racing surface, leading many to call the rule the "Yellow Line Rule." Driving under the line to advance one's position is subject to a drive-through penalty, or if the foul occurs on the last lap that car will be relegated to the last car on the lead lap in official race results. ## Testing NASCAR previously sanctioned an annual 4-day pre-season test at Daytona International Speedway in January for all teams until 2015, when all private testing was banned.[39] After that test, each organization was allowed four 2-day tests. Each test was required to be at a different race track. Rookie drivers were allocated an additional test. Beginning in 2016, each team is eligible to participate in five open tests that will occur at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Watkins Glen International, Chicagoland Speedway, and Homestead-Miami Speedway.[40] Tire supplier Goodyear is allowed unlimited testing and can ask whichever teams it wants to complete the test. Usually Goodyear chooses the top three finishers from the previous year's event to run the test. However, Goodyear formerly staged a full-field tire test at Indianapolis in late June/early July in preparations for the Brickyard 400. ## Weekend schedule The NASCAR Cup Series usually runs one day of practice and qualifying on Friday, followed by a second day of practice on Saturday morning, followed by the race on Sunday. If running a Saturday night race, the second day of practice is not held. During impound races, the three-day schedule is maintained, with qualifying taking place of Saturday practice. The NASCAR Xfinity Series will run practice on Friday, followed by qualifying a few hours before the race on Saturday. If a race is on Friday (or the schedule is otherwise compacted for other reasons), it is not uncommon for practice, qualifying, and the race to all be held on the same day. The NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series usually does this. Rain can and often does affect the weekend schedule. When it does, qualifying is routinely cancelled and the starting lineup is set by owners points (previous year's points for the first 3 races). Whenever a race is postponed due to rain, then the race is usually scheduled for the following day (i.e., a Saturday night race postponed to Sunday afternoon or a Sunday afternoon race postponed to Monday afternoon). ## References 1. ^ NASCAR.com FAQ/Customer service Retrieved 1/29/07 2. ^ Borden, Brett (April 11, 2008). "Contingency stickers fill front fenders and help with bottom line". espn.go.com. ESPN. Retrieved 10 November 2014. 3. ^ a b "NASCAR K&N Pro Series & Whelen Modified Tour Rulebook" (PDF). speedbowlct.com. NASCAR. 2015. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-06-23. 4. ^ Staff report (October 22, 2014). "ENHANCEMENTS UNVEILED FOR XFINITY, TRUCK SERIES". nascar.com. NASCAR. Retrieved 10 November 2014. 5. ^ Official Release (November 17, 2012). "NEW LOOK READY FOR 2013 SPRINT CUP CAR". nascar.com. Daytona Beach, Florida: NASCAR. Retrieved 10 November 2014. 6. ^ NASCAR Official Release (July 15, 2014). "NASCAR TO USE SPECIAL PAINT SCHEME FOR CHASE CONTENDERS". nascar.com. Daytona Beach, Florida: NASCAR. Retrieved 10 November 2014. 7. ^ Staff report (October 22, 2014). "ENHANCEMENTS UNVEILED FOR XFINITY, TRUCK SERIES". nascar.com. NASCAR. Retrieved 10 November 2014. 8. ^ a b c "NASCAR K&N Pro Series & Whelen Modified Tour Rulebook" (PDF). speedbowlct.com. NASCAR. 2015. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-06-23. 9. ^ Pockrass, Bob (October 18, 2014). "NASCAR won't OK tribute paint scheme for Terry Labonte". Sporting News. Talladega, Alabama: Sporting News. Retrieved 10 November 2014. 10. ^ a b Bruce, Kenny (December 11, 2013). "DILLON TO DRIVE NO. 3 SPRINT CUP CAR FOR RCR". NASCAR.com. Concord, North Carolina: NASCAR. Retrieved August 21, 2014. 11. ^ Albert, Zach (February 2, 2015). "RETIRING THE NO. 24? WHY IT WON'T HAPPEN". nascar.com. Charlotte, North Carolina. Retrieved 12 June 2016. 12. ^ Coble, Don (February 11, 2013). "NASCAR's numbers game: Names taking a backseat in big business of branding". The Florida Times-Union. Daytona Beach, Florida. Retrieved 12 June 2016. 13. ^ Knight Ridder (January 18, 2003). "The late Davey Allison made the No. 28 car famous". Billings Gazette. Mooresville, North Carolina. Retrieved 12 June 2016. 14. ^ "Rudd, Sadler, put the "silly" into silly season". Motorsport.com. August 23, 2002. Retrieved 12 June 2016. 15. ^ Myers, Matthew L. (June 19, 2003). "NASCAR Choice of Non-Tobacco Sponsor Is A Victory for Kids, Health and Auto Racing". tobaccofreekids.org. Washington, D.C.: Tobacco-Free Kids. Retrieved 10 November 2014. 16. ^ "Ending an era: Tobacco sponsorship in NASCAR". Sports Business Digest. Sports Business Digest. June 2, 2010. Retrieved 10 November 2014. 17. ^ a b c Coble, Don (March 1, 2007). "Sprint Nextel, Sunoco flex their muscles as NASCAR series sponsors". savannahnow.com. Savannah Morning News. Retrieved 10 November 2014. 18. ^ a b Barber, Pete (September 12, 2007). "NASCAR, Sprint Nextel reach agreement with AT&T on branding dispute". The Westmoreland Journal. Google News. Retrieved 24 June 2016. 19. ^ Yost, Mark (April 2, 2007). "History shows NASCAR the high stakes of sponsor conflict". Sports Business Journal. Advance Publications. Retrieved 10 November 2014. 20. ^ a b c NASCAR (December 10, 2010). "Verizon Wireless shifts its racing sponsorship from NASCAR to IndyCar". MassLive.com. Advance Publication, The Republican (Springfield, Massachusetts). Retrieved 10 November 2014. 21. ^ Associated Press (June 20, 2003). "NASCAR gets$700 million from in Nextel sponsorship deal". lubbockonline.com. New York City: Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. Retrieved 10 November 2014.
22. ^ a b Associated Press (June 17, 2007). "NASCAR sues AT&T for \$100 million over sponsorship deal". espn.go.com. Atlanta: ESPN. Retrieved 10 November 2014.
23. ^ Associated Press (March 17, 2007). "R. Gordon to race with alternate Motorola design". USA Today. Hampton, Georgia: USA Today. Retrieved 23 November 2014.
24. ^ Spivey, Julian (November 2, 2014). "NASCAR's substitute driver rule ... A flawed policy?". motorsport.com. motorsport.com. Retrieved 27 November 2014.
25. ^ Albert, Zack (September 15, 2013). "NASCAR clarifies restart rules to drivers". NASCAR.com. NASCAR Media Group, LLC. Retrieved May 1, 2015.
26. ^ "CUP: Pocono Race Under Red Flag". Nascar.speedtv.com. 2012-08-01. Retrieved 2012-08-22.
27. ^ "Red Flag For Flaming Jet Dryer". Nascar.about.com. Retrieved 2012-08-22.
28. ^ [1] Article on blue flag
29. ^ Newberry, Paul (2004-02-10). "Track worker killed during Dash race at Daytona". Usatoday.Com. Retrieved 2012-08-22.
30. ^ Newton, David (February 1, 2007). "Past champion's provisional entry limited to six". ESPN. Retrieved April 12, 2018.
31. ^ Martin, Mark. "NASCAR for Dummies". International Data Group via Google Books. Retrieved April 12, 2018.
32. ^ Pockrass, Bob (January 27, 2014). "Dale Jarrett relishes joining father Ned in NASCAR Hall of Fame". Sporting News. Retrieved April 20, 2018.
33. ^ "Racing Notes: Limited past champion's provisional among new Cup rules". Winston-Salem Journal. February 8, 2013. Retrieved September 16, 2019.
34. ^ "NASCAR Charters". Jayski's Silly Season Site. NASCAR Digital Media, LLC. Retrieved September 16, 2019.
35. ^ "NASCAR penalty system: Updated deterrence process in place for 2016". NASCAR. February 16, 2017. Archived from the original on June 7, 2017.
36. ^ Long, Dustin. "NASCAR unveils Sports Betting Policy". sports.yahoo.com. Retrieved 29 January 2019.
37. ^ Weaver, Matt. "NASCAR bans drivers and team members from betting on races". Autoweek. Retrieved 29 January 2019.
38. ^ https://www.nascar.com/news-media/2017/11/22/nascar-to-standardize-at-track-rosters-beginning-in-2018/
39. ^ Fryer, Jenna (2014-09-23). "NASCAR sets testing ban that includes Daytona 500". Associated Press. Archived from the original on 2016-03-03. Retrieved 2016-04-03.
40. ^ Bruce, Kenny (2016-01-12). "Testing schedule for 2016 set". NASCAR. Retrieved 2016-04-03.

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