In an effort to help save the teams money for the 2009 season and beyond, we are hearing that NASCAR may be ready to announce a couple of rule changes for the Truck Series. First, teams will be limited on the number of hard cards (annual credentials) they can purchase for the season. This will help control the number of people teams are bringing to the track each weekend.
The other rule change rumor that is going around, is that NASCAR will limit the number of guys that can go over the wall during a pit stop. NASCAR will go from allowing seven men over the wall, to six. If this happens, expect teams to take away one of the tire carriers. Again, this would in theory help teams save money, as they would need one less crew member for pit stops.
In my own opinion, I think limiting the number of hard cards is a step in the right direction. These annual credentials cost teams several thousand dollars each per season and putting a cap on how many can be bought will help.
The other rule change I’m not so sure about. While I understand the reasoning, I think taking away one man will create new safety problems on pit road. Before last season, NASCAR outlawed teams from rolling the right side tires back to pit wall uncontrolled. They had to be in contact with a crew member until they were half way back. Now, with one less guy over the wall, there are going to be less hands to control those tires. Look for there to be more cases of tires getting loose on pit road if this does indeed happen.
My other issue with this rule change, is that by taking away a pit crew member, the technique for pit stops will change. Since it doesn’t sound like NASCAR is changing the rule for the Nationwide or Cup Series, I think this will hinder the development of new crew members looking to move up. They will learn one way in the Truck Series, then have to learn a whole new set of skills if they want to move up.
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