Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

NASCAR America: The difficulties of gambling on pit strategy

Clint Bowyer and his crew chief made a critical gamble that eventually led them to victory lane in Michigan. Why don't more crew chief-driver duos follow this lead?

With rain bearing down on Michigan International Speedway on Sunday, Clint Bowyer’s No. 14 team was the only team that gambled on pit strategy - just taking two tires - and it paid off with a win.

On NASCAR America, Steve Letarte and Dale Jarrett discussed why more teams didn’t take a risky chance for a shot at a win.

“You have to look at the points system, how you make the playoffs, a win gets you in the playoffs and I personally think some of the crew chiefs on pit road are a little slow to adapting to what the value of a win is,” Letarte said. “A win kind of trumps everything. I think some of what we saw out of (crew chief) Mike Bugarewicz was a crew chief who had won a race. He’s in the playoffs. So he gambled and the gamble paid off.”

Letarte said the only time in his decade as a crew chief that he “truly” gambled was in his last season, after he and Dale Earnhardt Jr. won the Daytona 500.

Lerarte said he was surprised that the Team Penske teams of Brad Keselowski and Ryan Blaney didn’t gamble given their strategy earlier in the race.

Watch the above video and read Nate Ryan’s latest column for more on gambling on strategy.