As we head towards the weekend, I’ve got a couple of topics I wanted to cover regarding the recent goings on surrounding pit road.
New Gas Man Rule
NASCAR announced a few weeks back that gas men are no longer allowed to attempt extra work while fueling the car during pit stops. What the rule was intended to do was put an end to gas men doing chassis adjustments or assisting with chassis adjustments while fueling the car. There were a few gas guys on pit road that were either doing adjustments themselves, or setting the wrench for their rear tire carrier. But if you’ve watched pit stops since the rule was implemented, you haven’t noticed a difference. And the reason you haven’t noticed a difference is because the rule really only affected a few teams. Teams are continuing to experiment with ways to speed up pit stops with the new fueling rules, and this was one method that NASCAR decided they weren’t okay with. But for most teams, it was no harm, no foul.
RCR’s New Pit Crew Coach
Following a rough outing for Kevin Harvick’s pit crew on Sunday at Michigan, SPEEDTV.com’s Tom Jensen reported Monday that RCR had released it’s pit crew coach, Matt Clark. Clark had been with the team since 2008. RCR has since replaced Clark with Eric Wilson. Wilson is currently the jackman for Harvick’s #29 pit crew and was a jackman and coach for Richard Petty Motorsports last season.
Not Every Crew Change Gets A Press Release
Within the last two seasons, we’ve seen some very notable changes happen within individual pit crews. The ongoing saga of the #48′s pit crew is the best example. The whole team was replaced mid race last year at Texas, and the crew is on it’s third front changer of the 2011 season. But I wanted to point out that there have been plenty of other changes this season to crews that didn’t get covered by the media. Pitting race cars is a tough business, and guys are going to lose their spots from time to time. It only becomes news when it happens to the five time defending champion or someone similar. If you are ever curious who is pitting for your favorite driver, check out Jayski’s pit crew pages. He does a solid job keeping track of who is where and updates when changes happen.