One of the biggest changes in NASCAR for the upcoming season is the decrease in the number of pit crew members who can go over the wall.
The new rule states that only five members of a pit crew are allowed over the wall during a pit stop instead of six. It will be a major adjustment for teams, and most have been practicing since it is expected to be such a drastic change.
Stewart-Haas Racing gave fans a glimpse of what the five-man pit crew will look like and what the challenges will be with one less member.
SHR pit crew coach Walter Smith said the change threw the team’s world into a tailspin.
“Basically, you’re dealing with one less guy, but in reality, your fifth man who is your fueler cannot do anything this year.”
Smith said he expects teams to look and see who is doing the best on pit road and for teams to make adjustments if another team has a better strategy. By midseason, he expects teams to have the strategy figured out.
The rule was changed to make it safer on pit road with 40 less crew members over the wall, and it will also save money for teams. It might take some time for teams to adjust, and the first team with the best strategy could have an early advantage this season.