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Pit stops in the NASCAR Xfinity and Gander RV & Outdoors Truck series will follow new guidelines in the 2020 season, according to a statement released by NASCAR on Tuesday, Jan. 7.
The rules specify that teams will not have specifically assigned pit crew members, only that each team has eight members who will perform over-the-wall service: four for basic service such as changing tires and jacking up the car, one to refuel the car and another to assist the driver.
Additionally, full-cycle caution stops at oval tracks will only allow the teams to refuel the car and change two tires, requiring the team to pit twice for four-tire changes.
For road courses, teams can either refuel their machine or change four tires, forcing those who need to do both to make a second trip down pit road. The same rules apply to short caution periods, but each team can only pit once during that time.
Pitting under caution will also be timed from entrance to exit of pit road, and restart order will be determined by whether or not a team stopped.
Teams that violate pit stop restrictions will be hit with a two-lap penalty.
According to NASCAR, the changes aim to increase the importance of pit strategy and streamline the crews performing the stops. Additionally, these rules limit what the crews can do during each stop.
“We really feel like this… is kind of a unique opportunity we have with those events to try something new in the Gander Truck Series and the Xfinity Series that we hope will provide some increased incentive for teams to make differing strategy calls,” Xfinity Series technical manager Eric Peterson said in a NASCAR release.
Peterson also said the changes will switch up the field more and create more passing.
These alterations apply to four Xfinity races and three Truck events, all exclusive from NASCAR Cup Series weekends. For the Xfinity Series, these rules will be in effect for the races at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Road America and both weekends at Iowa Speedway.
As for NASCAR’s truck division, the changes apply to the events at Iowa Speedway, World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway and the playoff race at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.
Peterson also said efficiency was a key factor in the decision, rather than the teams relying on Cup crew members.
“A lot of the teams — a good portion, not all of them — do utilize sharing pit crew personnel between Cup and Xfinity and Gander Trucks that it is a logistical hurdle for the teams to fly those individuals back and forth,” he said. “Trying this procedure at these events certainly alleviates a lot of that burden on the teams to make that happen.”
Peterson said that this is a trial period and there are currently no plans to use the system next year or beyond that point.
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