Lowest-finishing, non-wrecked car to be inspected NASCAR has instituted a new postrace inspection policy for Sprint Cup races in which the first car out of the race that is not involved in an accident will be held for teardown, much like the cars that currently finish in the top five. That meant that Aric Almirola's #09 Phoenix Racing's Chevy was thoroughly inspected after the Las Vegas Motor Speedway race. His engine was taken to be torn down later this week at the NASCAR R&D center in Concord, NC.
The policy is expected to impact the start-and-park teams - teams that typically bring a car but don't have funding to run the entire event. These teams often are not in the top 35 in owner points, so they are required to qualify on speed. The new policy means it is likely that one of the cars that qualify on speed for every race will end up getting torn down. NASCAR Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton said Sunday the move was not to discourage start-and-park teams.
"We're just expanding our inspection process and making sure that everybody feels like everybody is on the same playing field, that's all," Pemberton said. "It's all about making sure that the guys who get beat that don't make the race understand that the guys who get in the race, for the most part, are doing everything right." The move could cost these teams money, as they will have to pay for an engine rebuild that they might not have needed if they didn't run many laps. Pemberton said the engine might not be torn down weekly but acknowledged it could cost teams $30,000 for a rebuild. That could lead to those teams racing more instead of risking the cost of a rebuild. Or it could lead to those teams not showing up if they can't afford to have the motor rebuilt. SceneDaily
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