When NASCAR developed the new Next Gen car, they changed the wheel assembly so that instead of a 15 inch tire with five lug nuts, the new wheels are 18 inches and have only one central lug nut.

During the Daytona 500 on February 20, Kaz Grala lost a tire during stage one; noting that it wasn’t good when the wheel passes by without you.

On February 18, NASCAR confiscated the wheels from Team Penske and Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing over some apparent modifications to the wheel – a clean violation of the rule book. The crews noted that they were concerned about a safety issue.

During a SiriusXM radio interview, NASCAR Seinior Vice President of Competition Scott Miller spoke on the events of the weekend saying, “we have some meetings with vendors and other team folks and analyzing deeper what we saw there. You’ll be hearing some more about that later in the week I’m sure. And honestly, it’s just one of those things that is really another one of the learning processes of what needs to be. Some people thought something needed to be one way, and others another. It’s the newness of it all, and we’re continuing to dig in.”

In relation to the mishap with Kaz Grala’s car, Miller noted that any information would be forthcoming along with the information on the wheel confiscation; adding, “a four-race suspension for crew chief Tony Eury Jr. is possible based on NASCAR’s new deterrence policy.”

Miller also spoke on the wreck involving Harrison Burton, whose car went airborne and flipped over before landing on its wheels after being hit by Brad Keselowski’s car saying, “we have to look at what led up to creating that. Every one of those situations when a car gets hit, the angle it gets hit, the angle it is going backwards when it gets hit, contributes a lot to the learnings for us. … We had a lot of other cars spin around at speed with no contact that did the job exactly as designed. When there’s contact involved that’s a big variable so it’s something we study with the safety team and learn from.” Miller noted that the lug nut is, “supposed to be fool proof. When it’s tightened on the wheel, a safety locking pin pops out to prevent the lugnut from backing off the wheel stud.” He added, “the wheel likely wasn’t placed into the alignment pins. That prevented the single lugnut from getting tight. It’s unclear if that was related to any mechanical issue or an installation error.”

Previously teams would sometimes cheat on getting all of the lug nuts tight in order to save time on pit road, but with the new wheel assembly and a single lug nut, the crews are having to wait for the fuel tank to fill after the tires have been changed.