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On Wednesday morning, NASCAR announced new cuts in the number of team personnel that can be brought to the track on a weekly basis in 2018. The most notable change to race fans will a cut in crewmembers that can go over the wall on pit stops from six to five for all three of NASCAR’s National Series. However, unlike the last cut from seven to six, NASCAR has allowed the teams to determine what would be the best mix of five crewmen.
In addition, the gas man can only put fuel into the car. Previously, the gas man could also make adjustments (Ex: adding or subtracting wedge from the car).
Finally, in an attempt to give those on the teams their proper due, NASCAR will assign numbers or letters to all rostered team members to identify their duties. As a result, team members will wear armbands that will identify their roles. Previously, NASCAR allowed teams to put last names on the back of uniforms worn by over-the-wall crews when fire suits and helmets were mandated for 2002.
NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer Steve O’Donnell says that the pit crew moves are going to make them more visible.
“Those are superstars as well in our industry,” O’Donnell said. “The more we can allow fans inside that window and the media, candidly, to have you handed a roster prior to the race weekend opening up to know who’s on each team and what role they’re going to play for that weekend.
On the organization side, NASCAR will allow Cup teams to have three (for one or two car team) or four (for three or four teams) members of the team present. These members include the competition director, team manager, IT experts, and a technical director. For XFINITY and Camping World Truck Series teams, they can only have one organizational member on-site. This number likely does not include team owners.
There are also new limits on members of the Road Crew on-site. As per NASCAR’s release, this includes the crew chief, car chief, mechanics, engine tuner, any specialist for a part of the car and spotters. For Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series teams, they can have 12 Road Crew members. XFINITY teams can have seven, while Camping World Truck Series teams can have only six.
There are exceptions to the Road Crew limits. For Cup teams, they can have a 13th member at Indianapolis and the three road courses on the schedule. XFINITY teams get an additional member for 10 races, while Truck teams get one extra person for five. Like the pit crew rules, this is open, so teams can mix and match. Also, every selection will be made public and posted for fans and media to make note of.
About the author
Phil Allaway has three primary roles at Frontstretch. He's the manager of the site's FREE e-mail newsletter that publishes Monday-Friday and occasionally on weekends. He keeps TV broadcasters honest with weekly editions of Couch Potato Tuesday and serves as the site's Sports Car racing editor.
Outside of Frontstretch, Phil is the press officer for Lebanon Valley Speedway in West Lebanon, N.Y. He covers all the action on the high-banked dirt track from regular DIRTcar Modified racing to occasional visits from touring series such as the Super DIRTcar Series.
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