NASCAR has been very open to change in recent years whether it is the schedule, playoff format, or any other possible situations. However, there is possibly another change the sport is willing to make as it evolves into the future.
According to Fox Sports’ Bob Pockrass, NASCAR is discussing whether to make any changes to the penalty for a wheel falling off the car. The rule has previously been a four-race suspension for the team’s crew chief and responsible pit crew members.
Pockrass states many options are being considered, such as an in-race penalty or shorter suspensions. The in-race penalties could include being held a number of laps or parked.
NASCAR discussing penalty for wheel coming off the car, evaluating what should be enforced
As stated above, NASCAR is discussing what to do with the penalty that includes a wheel coming off the car. It was an issue during the 2022 season as the NextGen car introduced a single lug nut wheel instead of the standard five lug nut wheel.
The penalty is currently a four-race suspension for the crew chief and other pit crew members but many feel like it is too harsh for the team. There is no competitive advantage for leaving a lug nut loose so why give the team members a long suspension?
Well, it is due to safety concerns that stem from a wheel flying potentially flying across the track. If a car were to hit a wheel, it could seriously damage the car or injure the driver, plus others who could be in its path.
It only takes one unfortunate situation to show why this penalty is enforced. However, the penalty has been viewed as harsh by many people. So, this has brought up the discussion on what NASCAR should do moving forward.
Honestly, the sport needs to keep this penalty severe in nature. A two-race suspension for the crew chief and pit crew members would be a solid option if NASCAR decides to either hold the car for a number of laps or park it.
There can never be too many rules for safety. The consequences of putting the safety of people at risk need to be severe. The idea of adding in-race penalties on top of a shorter suspension seems to make sense for this reason.
Stay tuned for the latest updates on NASCAR’s discussion about the penalty options regarding a wheel coming off a vehicle.