Competition officials for the NASCAR Xfinity Series and the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series announced Monday, a increase in the maximum number of starters permitted for both series, with both series now allowing 40 starters.
The NASCAR Xfinity Series previously only allowed a maximum 36 vehicles to start a event. With these temporary rule changes, the series will permit a maximum of 40 cars to start a race if necessary. A NASCAR Xfinity Series field has not had 40 starters since 2018.
Teams finishing 37th – 40th will receive one championship point. (equivalent to points awarded for a 36th place finish)
The NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series previously only allowed a maximum of 32 vehicles to start a event. With the temporary rule changes, the series will permit a maximum of 40 trucks to start a race if necessary. A NASCAR Truck Series race has not featured 40 drivers since Las Vegas in 1998, and has only done so on five occasions.
Teams finishing 33rd – 40th will receive five championship points (equivalent to points awarded for a 32nd place finish.)
No changes have been made to the field size of the NASCAR Cup Series, which will stay at a maximum of 40 starters.
These temporary rule changes will only be in effect for the races that do not have qualifying scheduled, as the sanctioning body returns to competition in the coming weeks, after a long hiatus due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Section 1.6 of the rule book allows for the sanctioning body to adapt to unforeseen and/or extraordinary circumstances under the “Except In Rare Instances” clause, which clearly applies to the current public-health crisis and unprecedented NASCAR industry work halt.
Officials indicated that the sanctioning body did not want to punish part-time or new teams in each series by limiting the field without the opportunity to qualify. Both series plan to return to their traditional field sizes once restrictions begin to lift, and qualifying becomes part of the weekend schedule.
“This move is critical for the long-term health of the NASCAR Xfinity Series and NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series,” said Scott Miller, NASCAR Senior Vice President of Competition. “There are many new full-time and part-time team owners who have made significant commitments to our sport and secured sponsorship to participate this season. NASCAR wants to enable these teams to fulfill their commitments and grow their businesses without being affected by circumstances out of their control.”
The NASCAR Xfinity Series will return to action Tuesday May 19th at Darlington Raceway (S.C.), followed by a event Monday May 25th at Charlotte Motor Speedway (N.C.)
The NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series will return to action Tuesday May 26th at Charlotte Motor Speedway (N.C)