Just like any other sport, Nascar is chock-full of rules and regulations that help keep everyone involved safe while keeping the playing field as level as possible. In the early days of stock car racing, the events were less regulated—and fans today may say that the hectic, inventive competition was more exciting.
Today, however, rules govern the cars, the drivers, the pit crews, and the rest of the teams. Some of the rules make sense while some of them have become targets for fan derision as the sport sheds viewers and sponsors. The idea behind some of the stranger rules may have seemed clear at one point, but clearly, every detail hadn't been hammered out because some of the rules make no sense.
Keep scrolling for 15 rules Nascar employees having to follow at work.
15 Wear Street Clothes
No one who works for Nascar gets caught on television in street clothes, outside of the top executives, who wear their suits like uniforms. But everyone else wears branded outfits with advertisers as densely packed on as they are on the cars themselves. Not only are these suits moving billboards, though, they also count as highly engineered safety equipment.
14 Use Custom Tools
For many years, Nascar pit crews could use their own tools on their cars, which could be modified in whatever way they saw fit to improve speed and efficiency. These days, Nascar mandates that every team use the same tools, like the airgun above, to keep the playing field more level—though the safety risk of customized tools falling apart comes into play, as well.
13 Take Tools Home
For most people who toil in an office job, taking their work home is something that the bosses love to see. Not so at Nascar, though. Nascar employees cannot take their tools home with them, not even to practice, because of the fear that they may modify them in some sneaky way.
12 Work On A Car Outside The Pit Box
Many of the strict rules that Nascar has in place for everyone other than the drivers on race day surround the pit crew. This is because the pit is one place where teams can make up serious time. But the pit crew must wait until their team's car is all the way in the pit box before they can start their procedures.
11 More Than Arm's Length
One rule that has become controversial is recent years is the stipulation that tire changers on the pit crew must keep the wheel and tire within arm's length during pit stops. Of course, this is a relative term because some people have much longer arms than others—and there's really no standardized way for officials to keep everyone 100% in compliance.
10 Block Other Cars
Just like Nascar drivers technically can't block other cars during a race—though they often do and the practice often gets ignored by race officials—members of the pit crew can't block other teams' cars from passing by. This is a safety issue just as much as a competitive issue, though whether pit crew members would actually sacrifice their bodies to earn a few seconds is questionable.
9 Watch The Race
Spectators may tune into Nascar to catch the exciting race action—or maybe see a spectacular crash—but most Nascar employees don't actually watch the race on race day. This is especially true for the pit crew, as they must be prepared at all times to jump over the fence and perform their jobs at the highest possible speed.
8 Forget Their Helmet
Football players in the NCAA and NFL can't forget their helmets during a game or the referees won't let play proceed—and might even call a delay of game. Similarly, Nascar drivers can't forget their helmets when they slip into the car and pit crew members can't forget their headgear when they're preparing for their lightning-fast performance.
7 Wave Flags
Flags are crucial in Nascar, as drivers have to keep a constant eye on whether there's a caution in place or if they're on the final lap—and even if the race is complete, since they may be in the zone too much to notice otherwise. For this reason, Nascar has a strict rule that team members cannot wave any kind of flag that might be misinterpreted by other drivers.
6 Don't Replace Bodywork
In Formula 1, every team brings multiple sets of front splitters, rear diffusers, and wings for their cars, just in case they need to replace the fragile carbon fiber parts following damage on the track. In Nascar, though, replacing bodywork is not allowed, which explains all the tape being applied to a car in the picture above.
5 Skip The Driver's Meeting
One of the silliest rules that Nascar refuses to let pass by the wayside is the driver's briefing. There is simply no reason to pull everyone away from their pre-race routine to explain the rules—especially given that fans think Nascar is getting more and more boring. Instead, with today's handheld cameras, TV producers could spend more time following the teams as they prepare.
4 Lose Count Of Team Members
Every Nascar team must flow like the well-oiled machines they work on and with. Keeping track of every moving part is essential, as is keeping track of every team member, especially those going over the wall. In some instances, one additional pit crew worker can go over the wall to clean the windshield and help the driver, and the crew chief needs to be ready to make that call.
3 Jump Early
Pit crew members can't jump over the wall early, or they risk being penalized for their mistake. This rule clearly prioritizes both crew member safety and overall competitive equality, plus things in the pit would get pretty messy if people could just stand around getting in everyone else's way all the time.
2 Skip Training
Nascar pit crews increasingly pick former athletes and then train them to perform mechanical tasks. The advantages of having someone accustomed to working as a team at full speed doing jobs that require strength, agility, and accuracy means that an average mechanic who works out isn't going to be as good as someone who learns later how to use an air gun. These guys can't skip leg day, though, and must train endlessly with their teams.
1 Touch The Car
Most Nascar employees will never actually drive a race car—and most probably will never even touch one on race day. Before the race, mechanics have their hands in every nook and cranny, but during the race, only the driver and pit crew will touch the car. If anyone else manages to get a hand on the vehicle, race officials are liable to get suspicious quite quickly.
Sources: Wired, Nascar, and Wikipedia.