Race Weekend Central

NASCAR: If You Lose Wheel or Weight, Expect 4-Race Suspension

NASCAR aims to come down harder on teams that lose items from their car while competing.

The sanctioning body announced Wednesday it will hand out four-race suspensions — coded in the NASCAR rulebook as a P3 penalty — to crew chiefs and other key crew members in the event a car loses ballast or an improperly secured wheel while on track.

The refinements come two-thirds of the way through the season and after a number of incidents involving weights falling off cars in both the Xfinity and Sprint Cup series earlier this season.

The crew chief, car chief and head engineer will all be suspended for four races if ballast falls off the car.

NASCAR announced before the season began that it wouldn’t require teams to secure all five lugnuts during a pit stop. Teams would be left instead to self-police themselves and able to run on four (or fewer) lugnuts if they were able.

However, teams were told that they could expect stiff penalties if they lost a wheel while running fewer than five lugs on a tire.

For a lost wheel stemming from improper installation, the crew chief, tire changer and tire carrier will be assessed the four-race suspension.

About the author

Sean returns as a ringer in 2017, contributing once a month because he (gasp!) is living it up in the big city without internet. While he's not consuming race news on the Twitter app and reddit he's writing a ton of short stories and paying the bills by working in marketing.

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You mean there could be a problem only tightening four or less lug nuts out of five? Woulda thunk it.


remember who the brain trust is running this sport and then all the PR people hired to continue the efforts to tell the fans we are mistaken in not liking what they are serving.


What’s the penalty for losing interest?

Bill B

More free time.


Great comment, JohnQ!


Funnier Bill B response though!


Wow, what the hell. No policing, now policing…who would have thunk it….SMH. You think?

Bill B

Wouldn’t you say that’s more of penalty for not policing themselves?

I will be surprised if they have the balls to penalize any of the chase drivers once the chase starts.


it will depend on whether or not it is someone that NASCAR really WANTS to win its big trophy or not before they penalize.

They could wait until next year for this stuff. NASCAR has enough issues w/o adding dumb things to annoy the fans.


humm….didn’t they say that there would be no rules changes for remainder of the year a few weeks ago? i guess announcing a penalty for something that they modified (not having to have all 5 lugs tightened) is not a rules change.

i’m so over hearing about the throwback days at darlington this weekend. polyester will be high demand with everyone on tv wearing circa 1970’s style clothing.

going to be a wet weekend here in atlanta, so maybe it will drift over to darlington as well. that will just put a big crimp in the broadcast on nbc.


Janice, shush, don’t talk about rain ! I’m headed down for the race and I don’t want to get rained out. I’m with you though about beating the drum about the throwback weekend. Maybe I should pack a retro look for the race? I do have a big floppy hat. I’ll have to see if I can find a tie dye shirt.


jerseygirl – ok, no rain for darlington……

have a safe trip and fun weekend. yeah floppy hat and big circular sun glasses. i have clothes from 70’s in back of my closet still. some things i won’t get rid of. like my saddle shoes from private school.


Really? NASCAR can’t figure out how to improve the racing and insists on keeping the lame chase format in place so instead, let’s find a way to put MORE penalties on the teams for stupid stuff.

Absolutely useless.


I don’t get NASCAR. One minute they say one thing, then do another while totally ignoring the truly important things…for example the majority of fans detest “The Chase”. And then they have the insane nerve to tell us how much the fan base loves it. The beginning of the year it was teams “self policing”, now it’s to the dungeon with 23 hours of solitary confinement. I have a headache…


oh yeah, I enjoy having TPTB tell me that I “love’ something when it is apparent that I don’t. Self-policing only works when NASCAR says so. Heck, they won’t police the restarts because “the drivers should do that themselves”. Right, by wrecking the leader on the restart or jumping it and waiting to see if they are penalized.

I’m with you on the headache. I’m counting down the races until November when I can scoff at NASCAR for its foolishness!


Hey everyone

I just wanna give a plug to http://www.racefansforever.org they have good articles by outstanding columnists, particularly PattyKay Lilly, Dave Fulton and Matt McLaughlin’s 50 years of NASCAR articles in 1998.

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