“I feel like it’s a ticking time bomb,” Biffle told The Morning Drive on SiriusXM’s NASCAR channel Thursday morning. “The left-rear tire is going to fall off of one of these cars and spin out, and the thing is going to go driver’s side into the fence. And we’re going to hurt someone. For what purpose? There’s no advantage when we all do the same thing. It’s like the fuel or the tires. We all have the same fuel. If we all run on a soft or hard compound tire, it’s the same for everybody. We should be tightening five lug nuts on the race car, period. There are five on there for a reason. We need to tighten all five.”
As Stewart and crew chief Rodney Childers did in interviews Wednesday, Biffle raised the specter of fans being hurt if tires went in the grandstands. In separate incidents in 1998-99, six fans were killed by tires flying into the grandstands during CART and IndyCar events.
“It’s ridiculous that we tighten down three lug nuts on the last stop cause it’s five laps to go and trying to gain a position,” the Roush Fenway Racing veteran said. “That tire comes off and goes in the grandstands? I don’t want to be having that discussion with you guys. We have tethers on our spindles, hoods and deck lids to keep the race car parts on the car and not flying into the air.
“For the safety of the drivers, teams, the fans in the grandstands, we need to be tightening five lug nuts on the thing. If you want to hit them as fast as you can, that’s great. But it seems we’re short-cutting something that doesn’t make a lot of sense.”
NASCAR stopped policing lug nuts last year when it changed its officiating system, removing a few dozen officials from the pits. Biffle said the decision was “absolutely the wrong thing” but suggested the situation could be fixed.
“I don’t have that answer, but there’s a way to do it,” Biffle said. “Trust me. They’ve got cameras, analytics. Do we experiment with body cameras like the police on tire changers? It’s a pretty simple fix to hit five lug nuts.”