NASCAR to talk to teams about lug nut issue

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NASCAR will talk to teams today about lug nuts and what changes could be coming, Steve O’Donnell told “The Morning Drive” Monday.

“We’ll look at what immediate steps we can take, particularly pre- and postrace to make sure the lug nuts are on and then continue to evaluate technology in terms of in-race,’’ O’Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer, told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

“For us, it’s really concentrating on that last run and there are some things that we can do immediately postrace to look at every car, including the car in victory lane and make sure the lug nuts are secure.’’

NASCAR stated Friday that it would “re-evaluate” its policy on lug nuts after recent complaints by drivers, including Tony Stewart, who was fined $35,000 for his comments.

NASCAR no longer required teams to have all five lug nuts on each wheel last year when it switched to a video system to monitor pit stops and removed officials from going over the pit wall.

Many teams glue four lug nuts instead of five on each wheel. At least seven teams reported loose wheels in races at Texas Motor Speedway and Bristol Motor Speedway earlier this month. There were no loose wheels reported Sunday at Richmond International Raceway because teams didn’t get the wheel tight.

Many teams can tell if they have a loose lug nut by checking the video from a camera mounted on a tire changer or by checking the pressure gauges connected to the air guns, along with the tire changer’s observation.

O’Donnell said it was “a little bit unfortunate” that the issue was raised publicly instead of going through the drivers council — which Stewart is on — or some other direct avenue with NASCAR. The drivers council is scheduled to meet with NASCAR this weekend at Talladega Superspeedway.

“Everything that we have worked together on through the competition council and the drivers council, we have acted upon,’’ O’Donnell said. “I think it has been terrific in terms of how that process has worked. It would have been the same in this area. It’s now on us to come up with some immediate solutions because it’s, unfortunately, the situation we find ourselves in short term. We can do some things postrace for sure to hopefully put a stop to that trend.’’