NHRA Reducing Penalties for Oildowns

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In the wake of controversy following this past weekend’s Carolina Nationals at zMAX Dragway, near Charlotte, NHRA announced Sept. 22, it is reducing the penalties for oil downs on the track effective immediately, and at the same time working with teams to find technical solutions.

Peter Clifford

Peter Clifford


Until further notice, escalating penalties for oildowns will be capped at $3,000 ($1,000 for first violation, $2,000 for second violation, and $3,000 for third and after), instead of the previous system which had greater penalties for the third violation and after.

“We’ve seen a decrease in oildowns this year and we want to thank the teams for making that happen,” NHRA President Peter Clifford said. “Oildowns hurt our sport, and we realize no competitor wants to oil down the race track.  We have a commitment from teams to address the oildown situation and improve it.”

NHRA will work with teams, manufacturers, the PRO and others in the sport who can contribute to reducing and containing oildowns.  Crew chiefs have been asked to share more detailed information with the Tech Department on the root cause of each oildown to aid in technical analysis and prevention practices, and the Tech Department will share oildown data across all teams. NHRA’s own Safety Safari team has also implemented new techniques to speed cleanup.

“Improving competition, which improves the fan experience, is one of the most important initiatives NHRA is working on,” Clifford continued.  “Working together we are confident we will find solutions to minimize oildowns and to improve competition and the fan experience.”



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