CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Big-money teams will be allowed to field only four cars under a cap set Thursday by NASCAR, a move that infuriated the five-car Roush Racing organization.
The limit goes into effect next season, but NASCAR said it would work to set a compliance timeline for teams with more than four entries. Jack Roush is the only owner with five, all of which are in the 10-man Chase for the Championship that crowns the Nextel Cup champ.
"It is hard for Jack not to believe that there is a laser bull's-eye on his forehead," Roush Racing president Geoff Smith said.
Smith said Roush officials were told in a recent private meeting with NASCAR that a "grandfather clause" would allow them to keep their five teams at least through the 2009 season. All of their current contracts with sponsors and drivers at least run through then, but what happens when those deals expire remains somewhat murky.
In other rule changes announced for next season, NASCAR said it was limiting the number of tests a team can participate in and a tire-leasing program.
NASCAR will set a schedule for on-track tests, and those will be the only tests at tracks that host Nextel Cup races. There will be six test locations: Lowe's Motor Speedway, Daytona International Speedway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Richmond International Raceway, Homestead-Miami Speedway and Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
NASCAR did not reveal details about its tire-leasing program.