Pit stop choreography still a work in progress

(Getty Images)

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. –  In Sunday’s Advance Auto Parts Clash, Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series teams got their first taste of pit stops with five over-the-wall crew members instead of the six allowed last year.

The new rules led to a variety of approaches, with the most prevalent featuring the tire carrier bring two tires over the wall at the same time. FOX Sports broadcasters credited Kurt Busch’s team with the fastest four-tire stop under the new rules at 16.95 seconds, a far cry from the sub-11-second stops that had become commonplace in NASCAR’s top series.

“A 16.9 is, obviously it’s quite a bit slower than what we’re used to,” said Paul Wolfe, crew chief for Clash winner Brad Keselowski. “And that’s just it—we’re not sure what to expect yet. And speedways are different, as well, from the mile and a half tracks.

“I mean, that’s pretty slow from what we’re used to, but you take one guy out of the equation, and some different (air) guns and things, and it all changes. I think, like I said, there’s going to be a lot of pit departments studying film and trying to understand different ways and ideas, and I think we’ll see this evolve a lot.

“I would expect to be quite a bit faster when we come back to Daytona in July. I would expect you’d see a good second or two shaved off of those times.”

About Greg Engle 7420 Articles
Greg is a published award winning sportswriter who spent 23 years combined active and active reserve military service, much of that in and around the Special Operations community. Greg is the author of "The Nuts and Bolts of NASCAR: The Definitive Viewers' Guide to Big-Time Stock Car Auto Racing" and has been published in major publications across the country including the Los Angeles Times, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was also a contributor to Chicken Soup for the NASCAR Soul, published in 2010, and the Christmas edition in 2016. He wrote as the NASCAR, Formula 1, Auto Reviews and National Veterans Affairs Examiner for Examiner.com and has appeared on Fox News. He holds a BS degree in communications, a Masters degree in psychology and is currently a PhD candidate majoring in psychology. He is currently the weekend Motorsports Editor for Autoweek.