After hearing complaints from drivers, NASCAR decided to modify its uncontrolled tire policy. The old rule penalized drivers if a tire was an arm’s length away from a member of the pit row crew.
Now tires will be deemed uncontrolled if they present a safety issue, or interfere with another driver’s pit stop. There are several instances that meet the new criteria including tires rolling into the traffic lane of pit road, tires bounced or thrown, and tires rolling back from the outside half of the pit box after being put in the inside half of the pit box.
Elton Sawyer, NASCAR vice president of officiating and technical inspection said in a statement that a change was due.
“After discussions internally and with competitors and teams, NASCAR will adjust how we officiate the uncontrolled tire rule to focus on preventing a safety hazard rather than concentrating on the subjective “arm’s length” criteria,” Sawyer said in the statement. “To be clear, tires must still be returned from the outside of the pit box in a controlled manner.”
The penalty for an uncontrolled tire under green flag conditions will be a pass through, and starting at the tail end of the field under caution conditions.
One driver who was extremely critical of the policy was Denny Hamlin. He has received five such violations in his career, the most recent at Chicagoland Speedway this year
“I think rules have to evolve and this is not about us in particular. I made a comment and it has 3,000 likes, 500 retweets, 300 comments, so it touches the fan base,” Hamlin said. “These are people that aren’t Denny fans; they just don’t get it. If they don’t get it at home, then it’s probably not a rule that needs to be in place in the Cup Series because you can’t explain it to them.”
Larson Coming Back to Ganassi
There were rumors running around the NASCAR tracks that Kyle Larson might be looking for a new team, and that he was trying to get out of the final year of his contract with Chip Ganassi Racing.
Larson quickly put an end to the gossip.
“I like being at Chip’s place. He’s an amazing boss and gave me my shot,” Larson told the Associated Press. “I’m very grateful for everything he’s done. It’s not frustrating to me because as long as I know what’s going on, I know what the truth is. I don’t really care what everybody else thinks. I know where I’ll be next year.”
This Week’s Odds, Pick
The Cup Series Returns to Pocono for the Gander RV 400. The drivers were at the racetrack in June for the Pocono 400. Kyle Busch won that race, and he is the 3/2 favorite for Sunday. Brad Keselowski, Kevin Harvick, and Martin Truex Jr. are all at 5/1.
We like Keselowski at 5/1.