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5 Potential 2024 NASCAR Rules Changes

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Joshua Lipowski

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NASCAR is a sport in constant change, and that is true even for the rules of the sport. Things like stages, the Playoffs, and the Next-Gen car are all major changes that NASCAR has made in recent years. What other changes can NASCAR look to for the 2024 season, and are they feasible?

1. Get Rid of Stage Cautions Everywhere, but Keep Stage Points

Road course races have not had stage cautions this season, and they have been interesting as a result. As opposed to other races where teams have the stage cautions to work their strategy around, they have to instead go about them taking into account that the full race could go green. This has been met with some positive reception amongst drivers and fans because of this new influx in pit strategy on road courses.

Is it worth it to expand to all race tracks? It would take away those races to the stage caution that made for some pretty incredible moments in recent years, and there would be fewer restarts. Could the long, green flag runs play against the next-gen car where it is known how hard it is to pass in dirty air?

2. Single File Restarts on Road Courses

Double file restarts have made for some incredible moments since they were implemented in 2009. However, some wondered if that chaos went a bit too far at road courses like Circuit of the Americas and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course. NASCAR is actually moving the restart zone at Indianapolis to counteract the land rush into turn one.

The Chicago Street Race had single-file restarts during the race, and that allowed for the racing to be much cleaner into turn one than it might have been if restarts were double-file. However, is it really wise to make such a major change for only a couple of tracks? We do not see this problem at Watkins Glen and Sonoma, and the Xfinity race at the Chicago Street Course had clean double-file restarts all day long.

3. Increase Horsepower on Short Tracks

NASCAR’s short track test at Richmond did not produce all of the results that NASCAR wanted. Drivers have been asking for more horsepower on short tracks for a while now, and the question becomes, at what point does NASCAR just do it? At what point do they just increase the horsepower for the sake of improving the racing on short tracks?

The question for this is whether or not it is feasible in the time frame. Do teams have the time or money to increase the horsepower in the cars enough to improve the racing on short tracks? It is also worth noting that it could be far more complicated than just horsepower at short tracks, and increasing horsepower may not work.

4. Add More Charters to the Field

The biggest limitation to new teams entering the sport or current teams expanding is the charter system. There are currently only 36 charters available for 36 full-time entries. If NASCAR wants to bring some new teams into the sport, they need to bring in more charters to allow for more teams to enter the sport.

The major question here is economics. Would NASCAR be able to distribute the prize money enough to allow for more charters to be in the sport? Maybe this is something that could have to wait until the next TV deal, but it is something to consider if NASCAR wants to be more inclusive to other prospective team owners.

5. Make Suspended Drivers Playoff Ineligible

NASCAR’s Playoff eligibility requirements state that a driver must run full-time unless they are granted a waiver. These are typically granted when a driver is injured, but it has also been used for driver suspensions such as Chase Elliott earlier this year. An argument could be made that a driver whose ineligibility for a race is because of their own actions should not be granted a playoff waiver.

This could be considered too harsh by some. However, it does add a strong deterrent to drivers doing things like intentionally wrecking other drivers. It still is a very big penalty, and it should only be implemented in the correct instances.

The 2024 NASCAR season could see some major rule changes from years past. Could these be some of them?

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Picture of Joshua Lipowski

Joshua Lipowski

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