Weary from the cleanup of the manipulations to its championship field, NASCAR sought to restore its credibility Saturday with a stern warning about “artificially altering” events.
NASCAR chairman Brian France told the teams he expects them “to give 100 percent” at all times. He met with them for nearly 20 minutes between practices at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill., on the eve of the opening race of the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship.
“I think we wanted to be very clear and we wanted to reinforce the cornerstone of NASCAR, which is giving your all,” France said.
The warning came a week after Clint Bowyer allegedly spun his car in an attempt to stop leader Ryan Newman from winning to give teammate Martin Truex Jr. one last chance to earn a berth, in the race that completed the 12-driver field for the Chase.
NASCAR tightened many of the areas that allowed the manipulations to occur in a series of new rules. Among them:
• No more deals, no altering the finish, no intentionally causing a caution or intentionally wrecking another competitor. Penalties can include suspension.
• Only one spotter per team will be allowed on the spotter stand.
• Digital radios are now banned on the spotter stand, meaning spotters can no longer communicate on a private channel.
• NASCAR also said it will address new restart rules today.
Pole-sitter Kyle Busch dominated from start to finish, leading 195 of 200 laps en route to winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Dollar General 300 at Chicagoland Speedway.
Busch faced few serious threats, building his lead to seven-plus seconds.
Joey Logano finished second, followed by Nationwide Series points leader Sam Hornish Jr.