The exits of Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Matt Kenseth aren’t the only changes NASCAR’s Monster Energy Cup Series will see in 2018.
There will be a few rule changes. One in particular limits the number of crew members allowed over the wall to service the cars, and another limits gas men to only fueling vehicles, as opposed to being able to do other work on the cars like in the past.
During Monday’s “NASCAR America,” analysts Dale Jarrett, Steve Letarte and Kyle Petty were asked their thoughts on the rule changes, specifically the over-the-wall limits. (See the video above).
“Going from six to five, in my opinion, I’m not a fan,” said Latarte. “I don’t like it.”
“I liked pit stops better when there were seven (over the wall members),” he said. “While parity is the goal and while the rules should be in place to give every team the opportunity to go out and compete, I don’t see how limiting the number going over pit road is helping this at all.”
Latarte said, “Now there is no argument over safety, less people over the pit wall is safer, there’s no argument. But going from six to five and basically making the gas man only the gas man, means the other four have to be the most elite athletes, the best of the best, and I don’t think that creates parity.”
Jarret also said he’s not a fan. “NASCAR has done a lot of good things to enhance the competition over the years, but every year we seem to get in a cost-saving mode,” he said. “These owners are going to spend whatever it takes and some people will probably make better money because of this.”
Petty added. “There’s been lots of innovations on pit road, and almost always when a change is made on pit road, it’s for safety. But the problem I have for this announcement is parity, to change the sport and make it equal,” he said.
“We’re dumbing the sport down,” he added.
Fans will have plenty of chance to debate this change.