Chase Elliott Insider Unmasks NASCAR’s Painstaking 5-Step Inspection to Enforce Car Legality

Published 01/27/2024, 9:11 PM EST

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If you think racing at the highest level is tough, just wait till you hear about the stringent process every Cup Series team has to go through to meet NASCAR’s legalities to get its car onto the track. Each team or car follows a strict and painstaking process, and even the most popular driver’s No. 9 Chevy is no exception. In fact, a Hendrick Motorsports driver’s car is set through the pace just like any other car to ensure every component is under check.

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Recently, HMS dropped a fascinating video where Chase Elliott‘s car chief explains the hard and fast five-step process. Thus giving the community a short walk around the stages and a briefing about each station.

Car is scanned for Legality – Mark Barndt

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NASCAR is always wary of its teams, keeping a close eye on them to ensure smooth operation and fair play. Each car that rolls out of the teams’ camp is put to the test, putting them through the pace of a rigorous and painstaking process that checks all the boxes, enforcing legality and thus leveling the playing field. Reflecting on the organization’s inspection process, Elliott’s car chief, Mark Barndt, opened up.

He said, “The inspection process comprises of five stations, we start in our garage stall which is where we go through our safety inspection. From there the team pushes a car to the chassis station once they’re happy with the tires on, roll to a handheld template station, from there we roll on to the underwing scanner where we have our weights checked, and the underwing of the car is scanned for legality.” 

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Then the car is sent to the OSS(Optimal Scanning Station) where the officials scan the car’s outer body, checking for loopholes. Free race on Sunday morning, we have an opportunity to put some last-minute changes to the car. There’s a handful of items that we’re allowed to touch. So we’ll go through that process, and make our changes. Run the car, just to warm everything up, and push the car to the starting grid,” said Mark Barndt as he ended his briefing. 

WATCH THIS STORY: Chase Elliott gives insights on his shoulder injury and the lessons injuries have taught him this past year 

With the #9 NAPA-powered HMS Chevy getting major cosmetic upgrades, entering the 2024 season, Elliott will have a new set of eyes, watching over him to guide him through the hornet’s nest up in the stands as a new spotter replaces veteran Eddie D’Hondt.

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Chase Elliott’s cousin spots the #9 driver as he takes up the spotter duties

For the first time in eight seasons in NASCAR’s elite faction, Chase Elliott ended his campaign on a sour note, not even making it past the regular season. Not only did the driver miss the playoffs, but he couldn’t even rack up a win. While an early snowboarding injury left the driver sidelined, his return after recovering from the accident was downright hard as the driver struggled to find the right footing.

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Following the disappointing fallout, the #9 team has major changes set for 2024. HMS has roped in Elliott’s cousin, Trey Poole, to be the driver’s eyes from the spotter stands and guide #9 Chevrolet throughout the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series season. Poole, who has previously worked as a second spotter for the No. 9 team at road courses and fulfilled the primary role on an interim basis back in 2021, will now replace the outgoing veteran spotter, Eddie D’Hondt, who will join Josh Berry at SHR.

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Chase Elliott Reveals the True Reason Behind Letting Josh Berry Snag His Championship-Winning Spotter

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Written by:

Kishore R

998Articles

One take at a time

Kishore is a NASCAR Writer at EssentiallySports. He actively covers live events and does detailed race analyses, helping fans understand the very nitty gritties of the sport. Using the right mix of storytelling and game expertise, Kishore can take his readers on a journey to see how a particular race was for some of their most loved drivers, like Kyle Busch and Chase Elliott.
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Edited by:

Shivali Nathta

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