Race Weekend Central

NASCAR Will Take Wins Away from Rule Breakers in 2019

NASCAR officials announced a major change on Feb. 5 to the post-race inspection and penalty process used across all three national series beginning with the 2019 season: if a team wins the race by bending or breaking the rules, it’ll lose the victory.

“I think for us, we’re really looking at a total culture change,” Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and Chief Racing Development Officer, told NASCAR.com.

“We’re going to put it on the teams to bring their equipment right. When they come to the track, we’ll be much less lenient as they go through technical inspection with stiffer penalties in terms of qualifying, and then ultimately during the race, obviously we want everyone to be racing straight up.”

An onsite post-race inspection will be conducted on the first- and second-place cars in each race, plus at least one other randomly selected vehicle. This process should be completed in about 90 minutes to two hours after the checkered flag waves. If any of those cars fails the inspection, they will be stripped of their position and credited with last place, the rest of the field moving up accordingly.

Disqualified teams will not receive stage points, playoff points, automatic playoff berths or playoff advancement, either.

“Times have changed. We’ve moved forward with a lot of things,” Jay Fabian, Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series managing director, said. “So it’s up to the teams to behave the right way and if they don’t, they’ll get a DQ.”

The very first NASCAR race in 1949 involved a race win being taken away, as first-place Glenn Dunaway was found guilty of using illegal springs. Second-place Bill France disqualified himself to avoid impartiality, giving the victory to third-place Jim Roper.

Fan outcry following the Wednesday penalty reports was cited as a contributing factor to this decision, according to NASCAR.com.  All cars will still be inspected later at the R&D center.

“They kind of asked for it, and it was time,” said Scott Miller, NASCAR senior vice president of competition. “Definitely a departure for us, but times change and I think this is just one of those things of us changing with the times.”

The last driver to be disqualified in the Cup Series was Buddy Baker during the 1973 National 500 in the No. 71 Dodge owned by Nord Krauskopf, who refused to let officials inspect his carburetor.

The last race winner in the Cup Series to be disqualified was Emanuel Zervakis in 1960 at Wilson (North Carolina) Speedway due to an oversized fuel tank.

About the author

Wesley has been with Fronstretch since October 2017. He loves well-told stories in whatever format he finds them. Aside from NASCAR, he enjoys reading, country music and OKC Thunder basketball. He has a BA in Liberal Arts/English and currently lives in eastern Oklahoma, where he works as a freelance writer/editor.

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I don’t really like them anyway but it is my guess that the burnout is gone.

Bill B

On the surface it sounds good but I am sure they will find a way to screw it up.

About time though!


They should lose the money too.

But I’m pretty sure it won’t apply to certain teams, and will apply to others, especially after the last event.

Prepare for the law of unintended consequences.


Dead-on. It’s going to be like it has always been. You’re not cheating if you’re on the right team.


What about the “winnings”?

Tom B

Why can’t they do a short, basic pre-race inspection so we don’t have to wait for the post race back room shenanigans. I’m sure you can find some infraction if you wanted to. Please, please stop the obnoxious burn outs.

Bobby DK

What?? No more destroying tires, fenders, or suspension? No more backing into walls and jacking the spoiler? No grenading engines? What kind of common sense are you trying to throw around here?

Chris P

Bobby….you didn’t hear that NASCAR has chosen NOT to policy burnouts, did you? Scott Miller and Steve O’Donnell are on the record stating that they are not going to police burnouts. However, if it gets out of hand, then they will step in.

In other words…. get your win, and BURN IT DOWN early in the season, as if you blow off the fenders, and mess up the 1/4 panel heights….it will be very hard to tech you!


So it has been almost 60 years since a race winner has been disqualified and NASCAR wants us to believe they they will have the balls to do it again for real? Yeah I’ll believe when I see it.




Does it only apply if violations are found at the track? What if a violation isn’t identified at the track but is found at the R&D center? Will they still take away the win or is the win “encumbered”?

What if both the 1st and 2nd car fail? Will they go down the line until they find a legal car or will the 3rd place car get the win without a detailed inspection?

Bill B

I was wondering about that too RH.

Wile highly unlikely, if both 1st and 2nd fail post race inspection the 3rd place car could already be on the highway back to the shop. Or will there also be a rule where none of the top 5 (or 10) can leave the track until a winner has been declared?

Given the fact that winning cars can be altered by contact during the race, this could become both messy and comical. I hope it does stop after race alterations to the car by burnouts, backing into the wall, or blowing the engine. Those things should not be allowed to continue (actually they should have never been allowed to begin with).

I hope NASCAR has really thought about all the possible scenarios that might cause controversy but I’d bet $100 they haven’t.

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