Crew members look at Kevin Harvick's car in the garage area at Darlington
Zack Albert | NASCAR Studios

NASCAR makes rule changes for Kansas to address fire issues from Darlington

NASCAR notified race teams of rule changes before this weekend’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway to address fire issues that were seen at Darlington Raceway.

The use of intumescent coatings are now permitted for the underside of the car’s lower crush panels, inside the exhaust cover panels and the upper surface of the rocker box. It is also permitted to apply the coating to the right side stop panel.

Intumescent coatings help provide fire protection to steel components, and the changes come after exhaust issues during Sunday night’s Southern 500 at Darlington ended the race for Kevin Harvick in the No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford and JJ Yeley in the No. 15 Rick Ware Racing Ford.

Other changes for Kansas included mandating a lateral seal/dam to be installed between the back of the front clip weight box and the top of the splitter panel to help reduce the migration of tire debris from the splitter area. And there were also instructions on trimming of the back stop panel included in the rules changes.

It was also recommended that with exhaust installation, clearance between the exhaust and the floor of the rocker box be maximized.

A NASCAR spokesperson said these changes are a follow-up to the first step exhaust shroud update that was mandated for Richmond Raceway to address specific issues encountered at Indianapolis. Development will continue in this area, and further updates are possible as test results are evaluated.