NASCAR makes several big changes ahead of the 2023 season

NASCAR makes several big changes ahead of the 2023 season

The 2023 NASCAR season is approaching an unofficial start as the NASCAR Cup Series heads to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum for the Busch Light Clash on Sunday, February 5 at 8:00 p.m. ET on FOX.

With the first cash race of the season still nearly two weeks away at Daytona International Speedway, NASCAR introduced several sweeping changes to the 2023 rules as drivers and other industry players pushed for changes.

Explain the major changes within NASCAR for the 2023 season and beyond on October 9, 2022; Concord, North Carolina, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Christopher Bell (20) races during the Bank of America ROVAL 400 at Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The first of many notable changes for the 2023 NASCAR season is stage breaks during road courses. The sport eliminated stage breaks for NASCAR Cup Series road courses; however, stage points will still be awarded when the number of laps is reached.

It’s a change that many have wanted for many seasons. This should help the flow of the race and eliminate long periods of yellow flag conditions between each stage in the future.

Next, NASCAR bans the move Ross Chastain made at Martinsville Speedway when he rode the wall. It might be a controversial move as it made NASCAR headlines, but it’s the right choice. Any attempt at “Hail Melon” would incur a time penalty to advance.

NASCAR also changed the results for the loss of a wheel this season. Here are the circumstances and the results if a wheel were to fall…

On pit road under yellow: Rear end of the peloton on restart On pit road under green: Passing penalty Beyond pit road: Two-lap penalty and two-race suspension for two team members crew

The sport has made a very telling move by introducing a wet weather oval package that can be used at the Busch Light Clash, Lucas Oil, Martinsville, Milwaukee, New Hampshire, North Wilkesboro, Phoenix and Richmond.

Another intriguing change is the elimination of a rule that required a driver to finish in the top 20 (Xfinity/Truck) and top 30 (Cup) of the points standings to be eligible for the playoffs. This makes every event an even truer win-win scenario.

NASCAR also announced a major rule change for superspeedway and dirt racing. The “Choose Cone”, which allows a driver to choose their lane during a restart, will now be in effect for these track configurations.

Finally, NASCAR will expand the restart zone by 50% (25% each way) for the first five races of the 2023 season. After the fifth event, the sport will decide how to move forward.

Related: NASCAR Odds – Betting Lines For Every Future Race And Championship

In-depth assessment of major changes for NASCAR this year October 30, 2022; Martinsville, Virginia, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Ross Chastain (1) during the Xfinity 500 at Martinsville Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey – USA TODAY Sports

NASCAR has made sweeping rule changes for the 2023 season and most of them are positive for the future of the sport. The first rule change was the elimination of stage breaks on road courses and its benefits have already been covered above.

Banning Chastain’s video game-style move at Martinsville Speedway was necessary. It’s a safety and ethical concern in racing, even though it may have been one of NASCAR’s greatest moments.

If a ban had not been put in place, it would have opened the door to similar movements in the future. The possibility of serious injury to drivers and fans would have been increased. That alone is a good enough explanation.

The new consequences of losing a wheel are also positive. Adding in-race penalties at all levels is a good idea as it balances the penalties. A two-race suspension and in-race penalties beyond pit road make up for the previous four-race ban.

NASCAR’s most intriguing rule change was the wet-weather oval package. Obviously, the package will not be executed if it sinks; however, it opens new doors. The idea of ​​racing in the weather on oval tracks is crazy to think about right now. The first time will be fun and very revealing.

As noted above, the idea that any driver in the points standings can qualify for the playoffs is intriguing. This will make superspeedway tracks even more intense as any full-time driver can now be eligible for the playoffs no matter what. The intensity meter will simply be higher all year round.

The least popular rule change was the addition of the “Choose Cone” on superspeedways and dirt tracks. This will allow teammates and builders to line up in a row, which will undoubtedly make restarts worse. It’s probably the only one that doesn’t make sense.

Finally, the idea of ​​extending the restart zone actually came from the pilots. They wanted the leader to have a bigger advantage so the others couldn’t anticipate the start. It’s a good idea and even if it will be evaluated after the fifth trial, there will probably be no reason to change it.

NASCAR has done a great job on rulebook adjustments for the 2023 season and it will create a brighter future for the sport. All of the new rules will be very interesting to follow this year and beyond.

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