NASCAR hints that pit crew suspensions could be for particular series only
A NASCAR executive hinted Monday that members of Kyle Busch’s Camping World Truck pit crew will be suspended after a tire came off Busch’s vehicle last weekend at Atlanta but that the suspensions likely won’t carry over to other series.
That is an important distinction because members of Busch’s crew work as a pit crew in other series.
Busch’s chances for winning the Truck race ended on a stop late in Saturday’s race. The team intended to change all four tires but had trouble with the right front tire. Once it was secured, Busch exited the pit stall but left rear lug nuts already had been removed. Shortly after exiting pit road, the left rear tire came off.
The Camping World Truck Series Rule Book states that “any loss or separation of an improperly installed tire(s)/wheel(s) from the vehicle after exiting the team’s assigned pit box will result in a three-race suspension of the crew chief, tire changer of the lost wheel and the jack man.’’
That would mean a three-race suspension for crew chief Marcus Richmond, rear tire changer Coleman Dollarhide and jack man Ernie Pierce.
Dollarhide also is a rear tire changer on Cole Custer’s Xfinity team and Kurt Busch’s Cup team, according to team rosters. Pierce is a jack man for Clint Bowyer’s Cup team.
Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR’s chief racing development officer, discussed the issue Monday on“The Morning Drive” and how NASCAR could react this week.
“The rule is clear in terms of the suspension that occurs,’’ O’Donnell told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. “That is one of our major safety violations that we have in the rulebook and it’s really understood by the competitors.
“Where we took a look at that is around the rosters and the roster limitations we have on all three series. In the past, that’s been something that we’ve had that if you were suspended for that violation it carried across all three of our national series.
“I think that’s really the discussion, not so much will they be penalized — they will — it’s should it just apply to the Camping World Truck Series. I think that’s where we’re leaning but (series officials) wanted to take the time to get through the weekend and have that dialogue internally.
“We want to be as fair as we can. We want the penalty obviously to have some teeth into it. We think it does in terms of the suspension. We want to make sure it possibly just applies to that series and who is working on that race.’’