To conduct inspections, NASCAR will have separate officials for the three national series: the Cup Series will have 12, while the Xfinity Series will have 10 and the Gander Outdoors Truck Series will feature eight members. We can not allow inspection and penalties to continue to be a prolonged storyline.
In a move heralded as "unprecedented" but "necessary", race winners from any of NASCAR's top series - Cup, Xfinity and Trucks - that fail post-race inspection will be disqualified, losing all stage and playoff points with the driver awarded a single point for last place.
The new approach is a seismic shift for NASCAR because it traditionally wanted fans to leave the event knowing who won the race. If the winning vehicle has any major infraction it will immediately be disqualified and dropped to last in the field. A auto that twice fails pre-race inspection will be sent to the back of the field at the start; a third failure will require a pass-through penalty at the start. Then, in the postseason, Kevin Harvick failed for an illegal spoiler following his win at Texas Motor Speedway.
"We felt like when we sat down and we looked at this and we put this model together that the efficiencies are going to come with the fact that those highly skilled inspectors are going to be in those individual garages and living in those garages", Sawyer said.
"We feel like this model sets us up for those efficiencies as well as more success across the board as far as the inspection process and making sure ultimately that our fans are seeing a great race with a level playing field". NASCAR even took a step toward ensuring the qualifying sessions are entertaining by shortening the first round at short tracks and intermediate speedways from 15 minutes to 10. In addition, the breaks between rounds will be cut to five minutes. The road courses will also keep the two-round, 25- and 10-minute rounds like in previous years. "We are proud to partner with the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards to create the ultimate Saturday night stock vehicle doubleheader". NASCAR said it was near certain the new auto will have a composite body.
"Our industry understands the need to focus on what happens on the race track", O'Donnell said.
Ben Kennedy, great-grandson of NASCAR founder Bill France Sr., will have an expanded role in 2019 as managing director of racing operations and worldwide development. Kennedy previously served as general manager of the Truck Series.
To quicken qualifying, NASCAR has also revealed various adjustments for 2019, though the usual three-round elimination format will remain. Winning two races will net a driver $150,000 total ($50,000 per race plus a $50,000 bonus), while winning all three races will result in a $500,000 total prize ($50,000 per race win, $50,000 bonus for winning twice, plus a $300,000 bonus for sweeping the Challenge races).