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NASCAR warns teams on restarts, side skirts

Food City 500 - Practice

BRISTOL, TN - MARCH 15: View of the NASCAR logo during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on March 15, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images)

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As expected in the wake of an ongoing controversy, NASCAR addressed restarts during Sunday’s prerace meeting at Chicagoland Speedway.

Sprint Cup director Richard Buck told drivers and crew chiefs about the use of a new camera for judging restarts in the Chase for the Sprint Cup opener.

Here’s what Buck said about restarts and lining up properly:

There’s been a lot of dialogue and a lot of discussion, and we thank you for that. But we want to be clear on the restart rule. We understand the stakes are very high, so we want to be crystal clear on the restart rules and how they will be enforced.

“The restart rules have not changed. We will continue to monitor every restart using the technology available to us. We’ve allocated some more resources. We have an additional dedicated camera that’s dedicated on the restart zone. We also have a senior NASCAR official at the restart zone on the ground.

“We will monitor the restarts diligently. If a restart is under review, we will announce it over race control, and we will follow with a ruling. The rules for restarts as in the video, the leader is the control car. The leader must maintain the caution car speed. The leader cannot restart before the double-red lines that define the beginning of the restart zone. If the leader doesn’t restart the race by the single red line, the starter will restart the race.

“Lineups, we need everybody’s help on this one. This is a big part of the restarts as well. We need everybody to tighten up restart formation all the way through the field. Nose to tail. Door to door. This means everybody. Remember it’s all of our responsibilities. Drivers, it’s your responsibilities to restart correctly. This is your warning.

Buck also addressed side skirt modifications, which were outlawed after the 2014 season:

Rule 10:7:1 unapproved vehicle mechanical adjustments, modifications or failures will not be permitted during an event. Pulling on the skirts, manipulating the body will not be tolerated. We will use every available resource to identify.

“During the race, the penalty under caution, you’ll come to pit road, you’ll fix it to NASCAR’s satisfaction, you’ll restart the race and do a green pass through. Under green conditions, we’ll bring you down pit road, you’ll fix it to NASCAR’s satisfaction and then return to racing.

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