Daytona Beach, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - NASCAR has made substantial
enhancements to its penalty structure and appeals process, which goes into
effect for the 2014 season.
Referring to it as a "Deterrence System," NASCAR officials said its new
penalty structure will be easily understood and specifically lays out exactly
what disciplinary action will be taken on the type of technical infraction.
The list of penalties begins with warnings and then includes six penalty
levels. P1 is the least significant, and P6 is the most significant.
According to a release from NASCAR issued on Tuesday:
- Warnings are issued instead of penalties for certain types of minor, first-
- P1 penalties may result from multiple warnings to the same team.
- P2 penalties may include but are not limited to violations such as hollow
components, expiration of certain safety certification or improper
installation of a safety feature, or minor bracket and fasteners violations.
- P3 penalty options may include but are not limited to violations such as
unauthorized parts, measurement failures, parts that fail their intended use,
or coil spring violation.
- P4 level infractions may include but are not limited to violations such as
devices that circumvent NASCAR templates and measuring equipment, or
unapproved added weight.
- P5 level may include but are not limited to violations such as combustion-
enhancing additives in the oil, oil filter, air filter element or devices,
systems, omissions, etc., that affect the normal airflow over the body.
- P6 level may include but are not limited to violations such as affecting the
internal workings and performance of the engine, modifying the pre-certified
chassis, traction control or affecting EFI (electronic fuel injection) or the
ECU (engine control unit).
"Our goal is to be more effective, fair and transparent in both areas, and we
believe that the system is tailored to fit the needs of the sport, essentially
building a firewall between the race teams, their sponsors, and the OEMs
(original equipment manufacturers)," Steve O'Donnell, NASCAR executive vice
president of racing operations, said during a teleconference on Tuesday. "It's
never our intent to penalize, but in order to keep the playing field fair for
everyone, we recognize that strong rules need to be in place.
"We certainly believe we've done a good job governing the sport in the past
but always believe we can get better and benefit everyone involved, especially
as we went out and talked to the industry."
The 2014 NASCAR Rule Book will explain to competitors how and why the
sanctioning body issues penalties as well as the factors considered when
determining a penalty.
"The new deterrent system is going to provide a clear path for our competitors
to fully understand the boundaries while shoring up some gray areas which may
have been in existence, again, all in an effort to be as transparent as
possible," O'Donnell added.
NASCAR also noted that lower P levels list penalty options from which the
sanctioning body may select (fines or points) while higher P levels are an
all-inclusive combination of multiple penalty elements (points and fine and
At the highest three levels of the system, if a rules infraction is discovered
in post-race inspection, the one or more additional penalty elements are added
on top of the standard prescribed penalty.
Repeat offenses by the same car are addressed by means of a "recurrence
multiplier," For example, if a P4 penalty was received and a second P4 or
higher infraction occurs in the same season, the subsequent penalty increases
50 percent above the normal standard.
NASCAR said suspensions are explained in greater detail in its deterrence
system. NASCAR will continue to handle behavioral infractions on a case-by-
"We believe the new system is easily understood and specifically lays out
exactly what disciplinary action will be taken depending upon the type of
technical infraction," NASCAR vice president of competition Robin Pemberton
said. "More importantly, we believe we have strengthened our system to ensure
even more competitive racing."
In restructuring its appeal process, NASCAR announced the appointment of Bryan
Moss as final appeals officer for the sport. Moss, the former president of
Gulfstream Aerospace, is replacing John Middlebrook, who had been in the role
previously known as the chief appellate officer.
Among those changes to NASCAR's appeal process include:
- Clearly identifying the procedural rights of NASCAR members.
- Detailing responsibilities of parties throughout the process.
- Allowing parties the option to submit summaries on issues before the appeals
- Allowing NASCAR members named in the penalty to be present during the entire
- Appeals administrator is not allowed to be present during panel
- Creating a clear expedited appeals procedure when necessary.
- Changing the name of the appeals panel to The National Motorsports Appeals
The new appeals process will continue to provide two tiers for resolving
disputes. On the first level before a three-member appeals panel, NASCAR has
the burden of showing that a penalty violation has occurred. On the second and
final level, only a NASCAR member is allowed to appeal, and they have the
burden of showing the final appeals officer that the panel decision was
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