In Sunday’s Advance Auto Parts Clash, Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series teams got their first taste of pit stops with five over-the-wall crew members instead of the six allowed last year.
The new rules led to a variety of approaches, with the most prevalent featuring the tire carrier bring two tires over the wall at the same time. FOX Sports broadcasters credited Kurt Busch’s team with the fastest four-tire stop under the new rules at 16.95 seconds, a far cry from the sub-11-second stops that had become commonplace in NASCAR’s top series.
“A 16.9 is, obviously it’s quite a bit slower than what we’re used to,” said Paul Wolfe, crew chief for Clash winner Brad Keselowski. “And that’s just it—we’re not sure what to expect yet. And speedways are different, as well, from the mile and a half tracks.
“I mean, that’s pretty slow from what we’re used to, but you take one guy out of the equation, and some different (air) guns and things, and it all changes. I think, like I said, there’s going to be a lot of pit departments studying film and trying to understand different ways and ideas, and I think we’ll see this evolve a lot.
“I would expect to be quite a bit faster when we come back to Daytona in July. I would expect you’d see a good second or two shaved off of those times.”