NASCAR has revised its tire rules in order to keep any team that fails to make a qualifying lap from having an advantage.
The sanctioning body issued a rules bulletin Wednesday, eliminating the mandate that NASCAR Cup teams must start a race on the tires they used in qualifying. The rule was intended to be a cost-saving measure.
Teams that failed to get through pre-qualifying inspection ended up on fresh tires for the start of a race; depending on the track, having fresh tires can be a significant advantage and virtually negate any disadvantage of starting at the rear of the field.
If a team fails to make a qualifying lap under the new rules, it must carry over a scuffed set of tires from practice to its tire allotment for the race.
NASCAR also announced a rule that would eliminate a big, circular handsaw that Furniture Row Racing used to fix its car during a recent race. NASCAR created a rule stating that teams must get series director approval to use anything but traditional battery-powered equipment — such as reciprocating saws, rivet guns, screw guns and drills — to repair a car on pit road during a race.