Going through inspections

January 05, 2015, NASCAR.com

What your favorite driver's car goes through in pre- and post-race inspection

RELATED: Laser inspection process

So there you are at home, following along during the NASCAR weekend from practice to qualifying to more practice, when your favorite driver gets hit with a penalty for failing inspection.

What gives?

The NASCAR inspection process can feel like a mystery to some, but it's actually a pretty cut-and-dry system that leaves little gray area to be interpreted by teams.

Every car that is on the entry list for a race must pass inspection in order to compete in the race. NASCAR will continually check on the status of each vehicle throughout the course of the weekend at specified times to ensure that the adjustments teams make based on what they see in practice and qualifying hold up to the standards set in the rulebook.

If the car does not pass inspection, it does not hit the track until after the necessary changes are made.

During the inspection process, NASCAR officials must ensure that every angle of the car meets the specifications for the following categories:

-- Body
-- Safety belts and nets
-- Roll bars
-- Fuel cell
-- Engine volume and compression ratio
-- Metal-weight check

A few new additions were implemented to the process in 2014, as the new rules package was revealed in late December.

Changes to the package include statically setting the race car ride height and eliminating the pre- and post-race front height rules and inspections. Additionally, the 2014 package includes a square leading edge on the front splitter, side skirt and rear fascia adjustments and an 8-inch rear spoiler. Finally, a 43-inch by 13-inch radiator pan will round out changes for 2014.

If teams don't adhere to those specifications during a race weekend, they face being penalized.