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XFINITY teams can use flange-fit composite body at three races this year, full-time by 2019

CONCORD, N.C. - NASCAR XFINITY Series teams will have the option of using a flange-fit composite body at three races later this season as the series moves toward incorporating the body into competition full-time by 2019.

XFINITY Series director Wayne Auton told NASCAR.com that teams will have the option of running the composite body at Richmond, Dover and Phoenix this year, and it is expected to also be optional for '18 at all tracks other than superspeedways.

Approximately 90 percent of those expected to compete in the Richmond XFINITY Series race (7:30 p.m. ET, 9/8, NBCSN) have already indicated they will compete with the new composite body.

Teams in NASCAR's K&N Pro Series have competed with the composite body for two years and Auton said officials learned much from that process. While the bodies themselves will be similar, Auton said additional bracing has been added for cars competing in the XFINITY Series.

Five Star RaceCar Bodies, based in Twin Lakes, Wisconsin, will supply the various body parts, other than the hood, upper nose and fenders, which will continue to be supplied by the three OEMs - Chevrolet, Ford and Toyota.

Unlike steel bodies which are welded to the chassis, composite bodies are bolted via bracing onto the chassis and can be removed and replaced much easier

The laminate blend material can be broken, but for the most part it retains its shape when struck.

From an inspection standpoint, Auton said initially nothing should change although as the car is put through the rigors of competition, some tweaks might become necessary.

The current templates will continue to be used in the inspection process. There are also markings on the outside of the car where a laser system will be used, starting at Richmond, to ensure the body is square to the frame.

There will be no additional practice time because of the new piece.

--- NASCAR ---