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Sprint Cup Series

NASCAR streamlines penalities for warnings

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams will now face only the loss of pit stall selection for multiple warnings, according to a bulletin issued to teams by the sanctioning body Wednesday.

The change removes the potential for multiple warnings to result in the escalation of the severity of the penalty (to a P1 level or higher), and eliminates all but one of the penalty options previously included in the 2015 NASCAR Deterrence Policy under the warnings category.

For every fourth warning issued to a team, whether during a championship (points) or non-championship (non-points) event, the loss of pit stall selection will be enforced.

If the fourth warning is issued before pit selection has occurred, the loss of pit selection will be assessed at that event. If the fourth warning occurs after pit selection has already taken place, the penalty will be enforced at the next points event. Warnings are not appealable.

The modification of the rule takes effect immediately. The NASCAR Sprint Cup and XFINITY Series travel to Watkins Glen International to compete this weekend; the Camping World Truck Series has the weekend off.

Any previous warnings issued to teams prior to Wednesday have been rescinded. According to NASCAR officials, no written warnings were issued during this past weekend’s NSCS and NCWTS events at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway.

Once a team has served its penalty, it begins the next event with a clean slate and no warnings on its record.

Also, warnings will not carry over into the following season.

Previously, the loss of pit stall selection was just one possible penalty for teams that incurred two warnings during the same event, or two warnings during consecutive events.

Other penalties included: track time deductions for practice; track time deductions for qualifying; delay in order of inspection; selection for post-race inspection; specified time delay before unloading vehicle at track; temporary suspension of annual hard card credential(s); reduction or suspension of other event privileges; community service.

NASCAR began issuing written warnings earlier this year due to a significant increase in the number of times teams were required to pass through the inspection line before being cleared.

Such delays impacted practice time and qualifying. At Atlanta Motor Speedway, 13 teams failed to clear pre-qualifying inspection in time to make it on track before the conclusion of the first round of qualifying.

In April, NASCAR began issuing written warnings for cars that failed qualifying inspection or pre-race inspection twice; failure three times resulted in the loss of 15 minutes of practice time at the following championship event. Warnings are not appealable.

In an attempt to give teams more time to prepare and present their cars for inspection, NASCAR altered the qualifying day schedule at several events this season.

While P1 and higher penalties, and details of the infractions, are made public, NASCAR does not release details of infractions that result in warnings, only the information that a team or teams have received such warnings.

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