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NASCAR unveils new penalty structure for appeals and enforcement

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Would this man's Kansas penalty after his win been reduced under the new system? (Getty)

If you were still trying to understand how NASCAR's penalty system worked, stop. You've got a new system to learn. And this one comes with a flowchart.

The sanctioning body announced a new system for penalties and appeals on Tuesday. It features tiers of penalties and a new Final Appeals Officer. Teams will now be given warnings for minor infractions and then penalties will increase on a six-tier basis in the new "Deterrence System."


  • Warnings are issued instead of penalties for certain types of minor, first-time infractions.
  • P1 penalties may result from multiple warnings to the same team.
  • P2 penalties may include but are not limited to violations such as hollow components, expiration of certain safety certification or improper installation of a safety feature, or minor bracket and fasteners violations.
  • P3 penalty options may include but are not limited to violations such as unauthorized parts, measurement failures, parts that fail their intended use, or coil spring violation.
  • P4 level infractions may include but are not limited to violations such as devices that circumvent NASCAR templates and measuring equipment, or unapproved added weight .
  • P5 level may include but are not limited to violations such as combustion-enhancing additives in the oil, oil filter, air filter element or devices, systems, omissions, etc., that affect the normal airflow over the body.
  • P6 level may include but are not limited to violations such as affecting the internal workings and performance of the engine, modifying the pre-certified chassis, traction control or affecting EFI or the ECU.

A P1 penalty may be the last chance of pit selection, a loss of track time in practice or qualifying and even community service. Here's the grid for the Sprint Cup Series. While a win wouldn't officially be taken away -- per previous penalty enforcement -- for a P6 penalty, the major penalty would disallow the win for Chase eligibility.

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The appeals process is featured on the aforementioned flowchart. Bryan Moss, former president of Gulfstream Aerospeace is the Finals Appeals Officer, replacing former GM executive John Middlebrook as the sport's Chief Appellate Officer.

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Got all that? It'll be fun to see the first violations of the penalty system and how it will unfold. To make the Chase, a driver must attempt to qualify for every race. When asked about how a behavioral suspension could affect Chase qualification, NASCAR VP Steve O'Donnell said Chase eligibility would be handled at the time of any penalty.

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Nick Bromberg is the editor of From The Marbles on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at nickbromberg@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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