In an effort to help teams with costs and to ensure safety, NASCAR is constantly making rule changes and tweaking existing rules.
NASCAR fans will see a number of changes when the 2018 racing season begins in February, including some changes on pit road.
The biggest change will be the number of crew members who are allowed to go over the wall the service the car.
There was a time when the number of crew members over the wall was unlimited. Then under the guise of safety, that number was limited to seven – two tire changers, two tire carriers, a jack man, a gasman, and a catch can man to collect excess fuel that escaped during fueling. When the new fueling system was implemented, the catch can man was no longer needed and the over the wall crew was cut down to six. NASCAR has not dictated which pit crew member will no longer be allowed over the wall; but does admit they expect pit stops to be a couple of seconds slower in 2018. Furthermore; the gas man will no longer be alowed to perform any other function besides fueling the car. In the past the gas man would also help to make adjustments to the car like raising or lowering the trackbar.
The reduced number of over the wall crew members is effective for all three of the NASCAR series’ – Monster Energy Cup, Xfinity, and Camping World Trucks.
Operating a NASCAR team is a very expensive venture with a single car costing some $15 million per year. Not every team has the appropriate funding to properly field a car.
To that end, NASCAR is constantly trying to help the less afluent teams compete on an even basis.
Another cost saving move for 2018 is limiting the number of crew members that travel with the team to each track. The “traveling roster” will consist of two teams – the organizational team and the mechanical team. NASCAR is moving to a baseball styled roster where each team member will have a name and number with armbands to designate their team duties. Under the new rules, only crew members assigned to a specific car may work on that car; unlike in year’s past where a multi car owner could pool crew members from other teams in order to get a driver back on the track quicker.
While NASCAR will not dictate who will make up each crew, they have mandated the number of members permitted on each crew:
In the Monster Energy Cup Series three to four organizational members are allowed (depending on number of teams an owner has) with 12 mechanical or road crew members and five pit crew members.
For the Xfinity Series only one organizational member is allowed with seven mechanical crew and five pit crew members.
In the Camping World Truck Series one organizational member is allowed with six mechanical crew members, and five pit crew members.