NASCAR will have slower pit times in 2018

One less man over the wall and slower RPM pit guns for 2018
One less man over the wall and slower RPM pit guns for 2018

Pit crews are going to have a big adjustment to make in 2018.

NASCAR has made changes regarding their pit road rules that will see five crew members going over the wall instead of six and using standardized pit guns.

“Between the two changes I think you will see us where last year a good pit stop was something in the 10-second range, a good pit stop in this coming year will probably be in the 12-second range," Team Penske’s Brad Keselowski said earlier this week.

According to, the move was done to “enhance safety with fewer crew on pit road, and to shave costs for high-priced athletes providing pit service." This was officially announced by executive vice-president Steve O’Donnell in November.

In terms of what to expect for the changes, Michael McDowell of Front Row Motorsports isn’t quite sure what to expect.

“Until you get to Daytona and do your first live pit stop we’re all just guessing. We’re running through strategies at the shop, running through different scenarios. Which way is going to be the fastest? What happens if you do two tires? What if you do no tires? Who should carry what?"

"These teams are experts at what they do," O’Donnell said in November. “I think it will present some different challenges in terms of how teams approach it. That’s one of the beauties of this — we’ll see more innovation. The stops might be a little slower, but I wouldn’t anticipate anything drastic."

“We’ve had very specific roles to fill and athletes that come in with fast feet, fast hands, a certain weight and size to operate the jack, get the car up off the ground," Hendrick Motorsports’ Jimmie Johnson said. “To have this change now, essentially somebody has to do two roles; the systems all these teams have built into place are all changing. We’ve been scrambling like a lot of the other teams."

Of the five crew members, the fueler can only fuel the car, cutting the number of crew members available for tire-changing and other maintenance to four.

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