Sunday, August 28, 2011

Speeding on Pit Road

In 1990 in Atlanta a pit crew man died when he was crushed between two cars on pit road. Since then NASCAR has had a speed limit on pit road. A good idea. Of course, typical of NASCAR they didn't make a necessary change until someone was badly hurt or killed.

NASCAR used to keep track of pit road speeds by stopwatch, now it's automated. Unfortunately drivers have figured out how to game the system. Essentially, if a driver pits in the middle of the last segment where their time is clocked the 12 to 13 seconds spent having their tires changed and fuel added is part of the time calculated. This allows those drivers to floor it after their pitstop is completed until they reach the last timing line. This puts drivers pitting further back at an unfair disadvantage. Not only that, since the racecar is speeding it is putting pit crew members in danger which then defeats the purpose of having a pit road speed limit.

Brad Keselowski used this loophole to his advantage at the Bristol race Saturday during his last pitstop. I do hope NASCAR finds a way to close this loophole before an over-the-wall guy is either hurt or killed by a speeding racecar. Since all the cars have GPS in them now and the speed of each car at anytime is available why not track pit road speeds that way? Why even bother with timing lines?

1 comment:

Mast General Store said...

Mast General Store is definitely my first stop when I visit Asheville or the surrounding WNC areas!