It's not nice to upset the nearly static evolutionary "progress" of NASCAR. The overseeing powers of CART and Formula 1 have conceded that the digital electronic evolution of engine management has progressed to the point where they can't effectively police electronic traction control (ETC). NASCAR and other U.S. racing sanctioning groups with less technically elaborate race cars and in-house expertise and resources are bound and determined to stay this digital tidal wave.

If one digital processor that assists/controls a driver's input is allowed, they say, where will they stop? A valid question, but one pertaining to a battle that's already lost at most of the racing tracks around this country. They're drawing a line in the sand as a digital tsunami is sweeping over them. If CART and F1 with all their technical resources find it impractical to detect ETC, how can series with lesser resources be expected to do so?

Typical Cat & Mouse

For more than a year NASCAR and other sanctioning bodies' tech inspectors have been:

1) Randomly cutting into ignition control boxes confirming the internals are legit

2) Extracting car wiring harnesses and checking each wire's origin and destination

3) Disassembling tachometers looking for "extra" electronics inside

4) Applying engine seals to wiring connectors to detect if they've been unplugged

5) Using high-frequency sound detection equipment to monitor engine sounds on track

6) Enacting post-race "claiming" of ignition controls from racers.

These are just some of the countermeasures they've employed in their determined quest to control the spread of ETC. You can look for more measures from NASCAR. We might soon see wiring harness routing and mounting regulated where all of it (about 30 feet total in a typical Cup car) has to be out in the open for inspection along with the ignition controls; say placing them on top of the dash. You can assume the wiring harness will not be within reach of the driver, either.