Skip to content

NASCAR holds closed-door meeting; officiating revisions made for tomorrow’s Chase opener

Sep 14, 2013, 3:05 PM EST

Brian France, Mike Helton AP

NASCAR, along with drivers, team owners, and assorted team personnel, held a mandatory closed-door meeting inside the garages this afternoon at Chicagoland Speedway. According to multiple Twitter reports from Chicagoland, security guards were posted outside to prevent fan and media access.

But afterwards, three of NASCAR’s top executives – CEO Brian France, president Mike Helton (both pictured, yesterday), and vice president of competition Robin Pemberton – did visit with the press to discuss the meeting. Additionally, NASCAR announced a series of officiating revisions, which will take effect tomorrow for the Chase-opening GEICO 400.

Those provisions will primarily impact the spotters. The spotters’ stand will now be spotters-only, with one for each team. Each spotter will be equipped with two analog radios, scanners and FanViews, but will not be permitted to use digital radios. Also, a video camera will now be installed to monitor activity in that area.

Going back to the meeting, France said it was meant to define what NASCAR expected of its teams going forward after last Saturday’s controversial finish to the Chase-deciding race at Richmond International Raceway.

“Those expectations are that a driver and team give 100 percent effort – their best effort – to complete a race and race as hard as they possibly can,” France said. “We issued a variety of things, some clarifications and some adjustments, to our ability to officiate that.

“We addressed team rules, and as I said, a variety of other things all designed to do what our fans expect and that means that their driver and their team give 100 percent to finish as high up in a given race as possible.”

Helton then said that a new rule will go out to the teams in a technical bulletin later this afternoon:

“It reads: ‘NASCAR requires its competitors to race at 100 percent of their ability with the goal of achieving the best possible finishing position in an event. Any competitor who takes action with the intent to artificially alter the finishing positions of the event, or encourages, persuades, or induces others to artificially alter the finishing positions of the event, will be subject to a penalty from NASCAR.

“Such penalties may include, but are not limited to, disqualification and/or loss of finishing points, and/or fines, and/or loss of points, and/or suspension, and/or probation to any and all members of the teams, including any beneficiaries of the prohibitive actions. ‘Artificially altered’ shall be defined as actions by any competitor that shows or suggests that the competitor did not race at 100 percent of their ability for the purpose of changing finishing positions in the event at NASCAR’s sole discretion.'”

Helton would go on to reveal what he stressed as a “working list” of acceptable and unacceptable examples in regards to the new rule.

On the acceptable list were matters such as contact while racing for position, performance issues, and yielding to a faster car, while the unacceptable list had examples like offering positions in exchange for favor or material benefit, directing a driver to give up a position to benefit another driver, intentionally causing a caution, and intentionally causing a caution for the benefit of another driver.

According to Helton, the meeting was an “open dialogue” in which France addressed a “very attentive” assembled group on the character of the sport and how important it was to protect it.

The conclusion of the Richmond race has caused many media outlets to bring NASCAR’s credibility into question. When asked about the topic, France indicated that it was important that NASCAR get back to what it does best.

“It’s like anything else – circumstances happen that are unhelpful in the credibility category,” he said. “There’s no doubt about that. And you go back to what you’re about and what we’re about is the best racing in the world with the best drivers giving 100 percent of their ability.

“And to the extent that we got off of that for any reason, then it’s our job to have the rules of the road – the rules of the race – such that it achieves that every day. If it’s not this, it might be something else. You just deal with it, we’ve dealt with it as best we can, and we move on.”

In the last week, NASCAR has delivered major penalties to Michael Waltrip Racing for their role in manipulating the finish last Saturday night and has twice altered its post-season field.

Martin Truex Jr. was taken out of the Chase thanks to those penalties, with Ryan Newman moving into his spot as the second Wild Card. But yesterday, citing in France’s words, “an unprecedented and extraordinary set of circumstances” at Richmond, NASCAR announced that Jeff Gordon would go into the post-season as the Chase’s 13th driver.

Friday’s decision has been met with mixed reactions from fans and media, with Truex himself declaring that the situation was unfair but that he was powerless to do anything about it.

Latest Posts
  1. Alexander Rossi confirms return to GP2 in 2015 with Racing Engineering

    Feb 27, 2015, 9:32 AM EST

    F1 Grand Prix of Hungary - Practice Getty Images

    American driver secures a seat in GP2 after a turbulent 2014 campaign.

  2. FIA issues updated F1 entry list including “Manor Marussia”

    Feb 27, 2015, 9:17 AM EST

    F1 Grand Prix of Hungary - Previews Getty Images

    FIA confirms that Manor Marussia does have a place on the grid in 2015, relying it complies with the new technical regulations.

  3. Force India VJM08 breaks cover in Barcelona

    Feb 27, 2015, 9:00 AM EST

    © Force India © Force India

    26 days after the rest of the F1 field, Force India gets its 2015 car out on track for the first time.

  4. Fernando Alonso thanks fans for support following crash

    Feb 27, 2015, 7:41 AM EST

    AUTO-F1-ESP-TEST-MCLAREN Getty Images

    Spaniard posts a video on YouTube giving an update on his condition.

  5. Barcelona F1 2nd Test Paddock Notebook – Thursday

    Feb 26, 2015, 4:00 PM EST

    Kvyat 262 Getty Images

    Massa flourishes, McLaren and Mercedes flounder, and Ferrari goes all 50 Shades of Rosso Corsa…

  6. Massa: Williams improving, but still trailing Mercedes

    Feb 26, 2015, 3:00 PM EST

    AUTO-F1-ESP-TEST-WILLIAMS Getty Images

    Brazilian driver still believes that Mercedes has the best car in F1 this year.

  7. Hamilton loses afternoon running due to MGU-K failure

    Feb 26, 2015, 2:00 PM EST

    Hamilton 262a Getty Images

    Briton still manages to finish third on Thursday, but is limited to just 48 laps following the power unit issue.

  8. Sainz Jr. pleased with Toro Rosso upgrades in final test

    Feb 26, 2015, 1:45 PM EST

    AUTO-PRIX-F1-ESP-TEST Getty Images

    F1 rookie happy with the final raft of updates on the STR10 ahead of the first race of the year in Australia.

  9. Carmen Jorda joins Lotus F1 Team as development driver

    Feb 26, 2015, 1:00 PM EST

    © Lotus F1 Team © Lotus F1 Team

    Spanish racer will get a chance to test the E23 Hybrid out on track at least once in 2015.

  10. Massa fastest for Williams as final F1 pre-season test begins

    Feb 26, 2015, 12:01 PM EST

    Massa 262 Getty Images

    Brazilian driver posts the fastest time of testing so far; underpins pace with mighty haul of laps.

  11. Gutierrez excited by possibility of Mexican GP practice run-out

    Feb 26, 2015, 11:00 AM EST

    Ferrari Filming Day Getty Images

    Ferrari reserve driver speaks after completing his first running in the new SF15-T at a filming day in Barcelona.

  12. Hydraulic leak sidelines Button and McLaren once again in Barcelona

    Feb 26, 2015, 10:00 AM EST

    F1 Testing In Barcelona - Day One Getty Images

    More woe for McLaren on day one of the final F1 pre-season test in Barcelona.

  13. Webber: Vettel needed fresh motivation in F1

    Feb 26, 2015, 9:00 AM EST

    Ferrari Filming Day Getty Images

    Ex-Red Bull driver believes that Vettel will be rejuvenated following his move to Ferrari for 2015.

  14. Hulkenberg to debut new Force India on Friday afternoon

    Feb 26, 2015, 8:15 AM EST

    Hulkenberg 262 Getty Images

    The VJM08 will finally make its on-track debut with three days to go in winter testing.

  15. Ron Dennis clears up Alonso crash rumors; confirms he was briefly knocked unconscious but was not concussed

    Feb 26, 2015, 7:27 AM EST

    Alonso 262 Getty Images

    McLaren CEO meets with the media to quash incorrect reports surrounding Alonso’s accident in testing.

  16. DiZinno: The dilemma for Justin Wilson and others, is teams as much as budget

    Feb 25, 2015, 5:13 PM EST

    Shell And Pennzoil Grand Prix Of Houston Getty Images

    Justin Wilson’s offseason plight isn’t only budget-related, but due to a reduced number of available opportunities in IndyCar.

  17. American Brad Hollinger increases stake in Williams up to 10 percent

    Feb 25, 2015, 2:45 PM EST

    Felipe Massa, Valtteri Bottas AP

    Brad Hollinger’s investment in Williams’ ownership moves from 5 to 10 percent.

  18. F1: Lineups thus far for final Barcelona test

    Feb 25, 2015, 2:21 PM EST

    F1 Testing In Barcelona - Day Two Getty Images

    Lineups and running order ahead of this week’s Barcelona test.

  19. Szafnauer: First test focused on tires, Wehrlein evaluation

    Feb 25, 2015, 11:27 AM EST

    PascalFI Getty Images

    What Force India couldn’t gain in car evaluation it could gain in 2015 tire and different driver evaluation last week in Barcelona.

  20. It’s coming March 14: First F1 on NBC promo of the year teases Melbourne (VIDEO)

    Feb 25, 2015, 10:15 AM EST

    Australian F1 Grand Prix - Practice Getty Images

    The Melbourne season opener is a little more than two weeks away.