NASCAR has announced a modification to the uncontrolled tire rule. Previously, teams were penalized if a tire was more than an arm’s length away from a crew member on pit road. This created a situation in which NASCAR considered the tire to be uncontrolled and, therefore, created a safety hazard.
The modification to the rule changes the penalty from uncontrolled tire to a tire that results in a safety issue or “interferes or impedes” the pit stop of a competitor. Beginning with the national touring series events this weekend (Cup and Xfinity), teams will be penalized based on the following criteria:
- Safety issues include but are not limited to tires rolling into the traffic lane of pit road.
- Tires may not be bounced or thrown at any time.
- Tires may be rolled from the outside half of the pit box to the pit wall, providing they do not create a safety issue or interfere/impede another competitor’s pit stop.
- Once tires are returned to the inside half of the pit box they may not roll back to the outside half of the pit box.
- Tires, servicing equipment and crew members may not interfere or impede with another team’s pit stop. Tires contacting a vehicle while being carried to the outside half of the pit box may be considered a no call.
- The penalty for an uncontrolled tire under green flag conditions will be a pass through, with the associated car starting at the tail end of the field under caution conditions
This change does not, however, eliminate the need for the team to return the tires to the inside half of the pit box prior to the car leaving the pit area.
Another modification announced will apply to road course events beginning with Watkins-Glen in two weeks. This change requires teams making four tire pit stops to change the “outside” tires first. Outside being considered the side of the car furthest away from the pit wall. Team failing to follow this rule appropriately will be required to perform a pass through penalty under green flag conditions.