Nascar isn’t a stranger to rule changes.
One of the latest changes in the Nascar rule book is that the lowest-finishing car that didn’t wreck out of the race will now be inspected by the officials at the conclusion of the race. This change is supposed to encourage the start-and-park teams to put more effort toward actually participating in the race instead of dropping out after 30 laps. There is more to this rule change, though, that might actually backfire on Nascar’s efforts.
This rule change can prove to be devastating for under-funded teams because of the monetary implications that accompany the inspection process. Just think for a minute: Cup Series engine rebuilds can cost several thousands of dollars, most likely in the upwards of $30,000. For under-funded teams, this can be fatal. That’s like one person’s salary for an entire year! The cost of rebuilding an engine, much less a car, is extremely expensive. If that rule wasn’t in place, that money could have been used for research and development programs that could simply make the team more competitive.
Not only does the money concern come into play, but also the question of whether or not the start-and-park teams will risk their equipment to actually enter into the field. If there’s no way to be competitive with the other 42 cars, why even enter and risk being the car that gets inspected and possibly torn apart? We might not have to worry about qualifying to actually get into the race if there aren’t 43 cars for the field! That can lead to a whole plethora of new issues for another day and time, though.
You never know what can happen… Nascar always keeps things interesting!
Talk to you soon,