Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver Kevin Harvick
- On Monday, NASCAR announced a handful of rule changes aimed at simplifying the rule book and corresponding penalties.
- As part of the changes, NASCAR will now inspect race-winning cars immediately following a race and have the ability to disqualify cars that fail inspection within 90 minutes of the checkered flag.
- We reached out to Jeff Sherman of SuperBook USA to determine how his sportsbook will be grading NASCAR bets based on this rule change.
On Monday, NASCAR announced a handful of rule changes meant to add clarity and transparency to both the sport’s rulebook and process of handing out penalties.
One of the most aggressive changes revolves around how the sanctioning body will handle winning cars deemed to be illegal following a race. In the past, winning cars were sent to NASCAR’s R&D Center in North Carolina for inspection, which took days to complete.
For the most part, teams were penalized with suspensions and the loss of points for illegal cars, but wins stood.
But under NASCAR’s new policy, the race winner, second-place finisher and a third car selected at random will be inspected at the track immediately following the race.
Within an estimated 90 minutes, officials will be able to determine the legality of these three racecars. Should one fail inspection, the team’s result will be disqualified, resulting in a last-place finish. Each other driver would the move up one spot in the finishing order.
This new rule proposes an interesting quandary for sportsbooks. In the past, the car that pulled into Victory Lane was almost always graded as the winner for betting purposes.
However, since NASCAR will now have the ability to disqualify winners immediately after a race, will sportsbooks still payout bets on the driver who takes the checkered flag? Or will books wait until the new inspection process is complete before grading winners?
To find out, I contacted Jeff Sherman, VP of Risk Management for SuperBook USA, to learn how Westgate in Las Vegas will be grading NASCAR race winners this season.
According to Sherman, SuperBook USA implemented the following rule for all NASCAR circuit races, “Race will be graded according to and after the post-race inspection.”
With the betting policy change, it looks like NASCAR bettors will not only be sweating what happens on the racetrack, but they’ll also be sweating the inspection process before potential winning bets are paid out.