According to an update from the sanctioning body, the wall ride that put Chastain into the championship four will no longer be allowed. Anyone that attempts this move will receive a time penalty. The reason for the change essentially comes down to an existing rule focusing on safety concerns.
“While the move was thrilling and largely lauded for its creativity, it also came with an increased safety risk,” the announcement said. “Therefore, NASCAR will not add new language to the rule book but instead point to rule 10.5.2.6.A, which states: ‘Safety is a top priority for NASCAR and NEM (NASCAR Event Management).
“‘Therefore, any violations deemed to compromise the safety of an Event or otherwise pose a dangerous risk to the safety of Competitors, Officials, spectators, or others are treated with the highest degree of seriousness. Safety violations will be handled on a case-by-case basis.’”
The Penalties for Lost Wheels Changed for 2023
One major talking point throughout the 2022 Cup Series season was the penalty issued in response to a lost wheel. There were several discussions about whether a four-race suspension was fitting or a little too much.
There has now been a change for the 2023 season. NASCAR now has a variety of penalties for a lost wheel based on when the issue takes place, as well as the location.
For example, losing a tire on pit road under caution will result in the driver lining up at the rear of the field. If the entry loses a tire on pit road under green flag conditions, the driver will have to serve a pass-through penalty.
If the tire breaks loose on the track, the driver will have to serve a two-lap penalty. Additionally, two crew members will serve a two-race suspension from the specific series where the violation occurred. The crew chief will no longer have to miss races as part of the penalty.
Additional Rules Focus the Road Courses
One significant change focuses on the different road courses on the schedule. There will no longer be a caution period between the stages, nor will the green and white checkered flag wave. NASCAR will still award stage points at road courses.
These updated changes will be implemented at all of the Cup Series road courses. However, the standalone road course events in the Xfinity Series and Craftsman Truck Series — Portland, Mid-Ohio, Road America — will still have stage breaks.
The Hail Melon, stage breaks, and the lost wheels were the main points of the rule changes. However, there were several others included that will have an effect on several races in 2023.
One prominent example is the expanded use of the Choose Rule. Drivers will now have to choose the inside or outside lane for restarts at superspeedways and dirt events. The Choose Rule was already in place at the rest of the oval tracks.
Another rule change focuses on the Damaged Vehicle Policy. Teams will now have seven minutes to make repairs on pit road. Though they still are unable to use specialty tools in front of the wall, as was the case in 2022.
Finally, NASCAR expanded the list of tracks where the wet weather package can be used. This list includes the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Martinsville Speedway, New Hampshire Motor Speedway, North Wilkesboro Speedway, Phoenix Raceway, Richmond Raceway, Milwaukee Mile, and Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park.