NASCAR teams will no longer have to worry about losing their crew chief for loose wheels when the new rule comes into effect.
Until now, NASCAR would penalize the team under Section 10.5.2.6 infraction (loss or separation of an improperly installed tire/wheel from the vehicle during an event) for loose wheels.
As a part of the punishment, NASCAR would also suspend the crew chief of the team.
This loose wheels problem was persistent throughout the 2022 season as many drivers including Justin Haley, Kaz Grala, Todd Gilliland, Corey LaJoie, Bubba Wallace, B.J. McLeod, Denny Hamlin, were affected by the penalty.
But NASCAR is set to introduce new rules as reported by The Athletic reporter Jordan Bianchi. He outlined the changes in a Twitter post:
“Crew chief will no longer be suspended for loose wheels.
“If a loose wheel happens on the track, a 2-lap penalty will be assessed and 2 crew members will be suspended 2 races.
“On pit road, the penalty is either restarting at the rear (caution) or
a pass-thru penalty (green).”
Crew chief will no longer be suspended for loose wheels.
If a loose wheel happens on the track, a 2-lap penalty will be assessed and 2 crew members will be suspended 2 races.
On pit road, the penalty is either restarting at the rear (caution) or
a pass-thru penalty (green).
— Jordan Bianchi (@Jordan_Bianchi) January 31, 2023
The penalty change is not the only issue regarding the matter right now. Last season, Kyle Larson’s Crew Chief Cliff Daniels spoke about loose wheels and accused NASCAR of not providing adequate equipment.
“I hate that I’m going to have to say it but it’s the truth, the razor-thin line that we’re on right now from having a fast pit stop and having a potential issue is smaller than it has ever been,” Daniels began. “And believe it or not, there is more complexity and nuance in the single-lug pit stop than there was in the five-lug pit stop. And I know that’s really hard to believe, but a lot of it does boil down to limitations that we have with the current pit gun.
“A few things that I’m going to say are inadequate with the safety mechanisms that are supposed to keep the wheel nut from falling off that I don’t believe you can blame the teams, and the tire changers, the pit performers every single time for what we’ve seen this year. I would say that NASCAR needs to step up, and NASCAR needs to improve the pit guns. NASCAR needs to improve the stuff that we’re using.”
He also criticized the “mind-blowing” penalties NASCAR issued for this. While his words didn’t go unheard and maybe NASCAR will do better to provide better equipment for it to not happen so often as the last season.