Using transparency as a guiding point, NASCAR is overhauling its rulebook.
One major takeaway from Monday's press conference will see NASCAR lay out penalties for specific infractions. Previously, violators were dealt with on a case-by-case basis with no clear definition of what the penalties would encompass.
Officials will also attempt to eliminate the gray area in the rulebook by streamlining its rules and making the information more readily available to teams and manufacturers. The new procedures will allow teams to know which areas where they can push technology and innovation and what the penalties are if rules are breached.
"The gray area that you see out there we want to eliminate," NASCAR Senior Vice President of Operations Steve O'Donnell said.
NASCAR is also considering making its rulebook public, something it has shied away from historically.
"By letting out the penalties you want to be more transparent," O'Donnell said. "So it's in an effort to make it even clearer to not only the garage but the race fans and the media, as well."
NASCAR hopes to enact the changes by the 2015 season.
Other topics of note during the Q&A include:
- NASCAR is evaluating its current qualifying format and looking at ways to make it more fan-friendly. Officials wouldn't elaborate on possible changes, if any, that may be implemented.
- More advanced technology will be used on pit road. This data could be shared with fans and include seeing what a driver's exact speed is and when pit road penalties occur.
"Anything and everything that happens on pit road now is really included in our kind of white sheet of paper of how can we improve upon that and add to the fan experience," O'Donnell said.
- The much-maligned appeals process will also get an overhaul. The goal is to better use a hearing officer's skills set and place them on cases that best fit their knowledge base. Additionally, track operators will be used less due to the potential of conflict of interest, as they might be less likely to rule against a driver/team that they later might need to promote an event.
"I think we've put some people in some somewhat tough positions with the emerging technologies and the science behind all our parts and pieces in the car," O'Donnell said. "We owe it to the industry to have industry experts sit in on that and make proper rulings."