Joe Gibbs’ Pride Forces NASCAR to Change It’s Rules, Months Ahead of Replacing Noah Gragson
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Joe Gibbs’ Pride Forces NASCAR to Change It’s Rules, Months Ahead of Replacing Noah Gragson

Jun 14, 2023

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DAYTONA BEACH, FL – FEBRUARY 18: Team owner Joe Gibbs stands on pit road duringthe Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series 60th Annual Daytona 500 at DaytonaInternational Speedway on February 18, 2018 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo bySarah Crabill/Getty Images)

The NASCAR Xfinity Series at Watkins Glen unfolded akin to a veritable chess match on wheels, with each contender hell-bent on clinching victory, sometimes to their own detriment. Indeed, the race reached a boiling point at Lap 79, when no fewer than eleven vehicles found themselves entangled in a dance of destruction.

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Emerging from the maelstrom, Sam Mayer took the laurels. However, in light of the tumultuous events at the recommencement of the NASCAR Xfinity Series Shriners Children’s 200, NASCAR’s governing body deemed it prudent to amend their tome of regulations. The decision evoked a range of responses from NASCAR enthusiasts.


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In a heart-stopping sequence at the Xfinity Series, Ty Gibbs, who drives the No. 19 Toyota Supra for JGR, was at the epicenter of a rule revamp. Engaged in a fierce duel with Sam Mayer for the pole position on lap 79, Gibbs inadvertently nudged Mayer, causing him to graze the fence. This hairpin situation slowed down the trailing cars, culminating in a mass collision.

In the thick of it, Justin Allgaier and Cole Custer’s tussle resulted in Allgaier spiraling amidst a sea of vehicles. By the time the dust settled, a grand total of 11 cars, including those driven by luminaries like Josh Berry, Brandon Jones, Alex Bowman, and John Hunter Nemechek, among others, had joined the fray.

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However, it was John Hunter Nemechek, a Joe Gibbs Xfinity Series racer who is currently set to replace Noah Gragson in the Legacy Motor Club team and compete in the Cup Series, who caught the attention of the officials with his flagging metal sheet, earning him a mechanical black flag that required immediate repairs.

The incident led NASCAR’s decision-making body to institute a change: ensuring that the foam within car doors is firmly secured by its original panel.

NASCAR has updated a rule on door foam and the damaged vehicle policy to say it "must be adequately retained by original door panel."

— Bob Pockrass (@bobpockrass) August 23, 2023

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The regulatory pivot was broadcast to the masses by Bob Pockrass, the Fox Sports journalist, via his Twitter channel, evoking a medley of responses from the NASCAR faithful.

NASCAR’s recent rule alteration has stirred the pot among its vast community of aficionados. While many rallied behind the change, praising its emphasis on driver safety, others, with a touch of irony, tipped their hats to John Hunter Nemechek (JHN) for inadvertently catalyzing another amendment to NASCAR’s rule book.

Diving into the digital arena, here are a few snapshots of the sentiments expressed across various social media platforms by the sport’s fervent followers:

“That’s good! Too dangerous for it not to be properly done.”, wrote one fan.

While some accepted the rule change, there were fans who go sarcastic as well.

“I understand why the rule change, but how can that get fixed? Are teams going to have to carry spare foam sections to replace it? Because every time I see a crash with the foam coming out, it disintegrates. Just curious on the ‘how’.”, wrote another fan.

Here are some additional reactions from NASCAR fans:


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“Yeah as a JHN fan, I have no idea how they got away with what they did last week. That fully should’ve been the end of their race and instead it’s a 6th place finish.”

“There needs to be an exception to the rule against replacement body pieces for safety devices. If having foam in the door is really that big of a deal, then teams should be able to have spare foam with them to tape into the door in these situations when the car is completely drivable. A door side-swipe shouldn’t be an auto DNF.”

“Rule should have been rewritten to allow for door foam to be added in the event of an accident. Completely idiotic for door foam to take out a car from competing”


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Indeed, NASCAR has a storied history of evolving its rulebook in response to on-track incidents and technological advancements. While modifications are par for the course in this dynamic sport, the real litmus test lies in the aftermath.

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Neha Dwivedi

199 articles

Edited By: Shivali Nathta



Joe Gibbs Racing driver sparks regulatory revisions in NASCARWatch This Story:NASCAR rule changes elicit mixed reactions