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Xfinity Series Changes for 2018



2018 will begin a new era for the NASCAR Xfinity Series, with the introduction of flange-fit composite bodies. This change allows for lesser spending by teams. Repairs to damaged cars and switching bodies on vehicles will now be simplified. In a NASCAR teleconference today, Xfinity Series Director Wayne Auton and Brett Bodine unveiled this new project.

Similar to changes made recently in the K&N Pro Series and ARCA, the new Xfinity Series car bodies will be a 13-piece set. These separate panels will all fit the cars on flanges. The panels will be fabricated from a strong composite laminate blend. This material makes them much more durable than the current steel body panels.

“This has been in the works for over a year. We’ve collaborated with all the teams, and the main purpose behind this is to curtail spending,” said Auton.

The new body styles, which are nearly identical to the current steel bodies, will be optional for 3 races in 2017. Starting on September 8 at Richmond, teams will have the option to test out the new panels. This option will also be available at upcoming races in Dover (9/30) and Phoenix (11/11).

“Several of the panels have security features. This prevents the teams from tampering with them to gain an advantage,” said Bodine. Teams will purchase these body panels from a third-party vendor, and are not able to manipulate the shape. Also, there is a competitive disadvantage to running the new body against the older body. This allows for an equalizer throughout the field.

Starting in 2018, the new flange fit bodies will be optional at every track except superspeedways. The new style of body will become mandatory for the entire 2019 season.

With this new innovation, however, the damaged vehicle policy debuted this year will remain unchanged. Teams still cannot add body panels to vehicles during a race. However, they can switch out body panels in practice sessions.

So what exactly does all this mean? These newly designed body panels allow teams to spend less time and money in hanging bodies on racecars. Engineering staff will be less of a necessity. As a result, costs for running the Xfinity Series schedule will lower. In addition, teams will be able to have fewer cars in their inventories. Lastly, this change should allow for more parity in terms of race winners. Throughout the 2018 season, teams will transition to this new body technology. It will certainly be interesting to watch.