NASCAR announced Monday teams will no longer be able to bend or manipulate fenders or side skirts during pit stops and if a team is caught doing so, it will be directed back to pit road to correct the issue and lose their track position. Additional penalties could also be imposed.
Teams repeatedly turned to the practice to help gain an aerodynamic advantage last season.
Robin Pemberton, NASCAR's vice president of competition, said NASCAR needed to police the practice because NASCAR had no way to account for the added aerodynamic advantage in testing.
“We know that when we go to the Goodyear tire test, the cars aren't tested (with changed fenders), so that is not something that is modeled (in our simulations) in any way shape or form,” he said. “To be correct with the entire garage area and our venders and suppliers, and other people that we work with, it is best to regulate that and keep it in the box if we can.”
NASCAR was aware of the issue last season but did not want to make a rules change while the championship Chase was underway.