NASCAR won’t downsize pit crews next season

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NASCAR confirmed Wednesday it won’t be making changes to pit crews for the 2017 season.

There had been reports that NASCAR was considering smaller pit crews next year, and a reduction from six to five over-the-wall crew members had been discussed in meetings with the team owner council.

The move was viewed as a way to curtail costs while enhance safety (with fewer people in the pits). Teams also have floated ideas about elongated pit stops to de-emphasize their importance and impact on a race.

But NASCAR has elected to keep its Sprint Cup pit crews at six, which has been the limit since 2011 when the catch-can man was eliminated.

NASCAR continues to look at other pit improvements (such as limiting spillage from teams redesigning fuel nozzles) among more than two dozen projects aimed at improving safety, containing costs and enhancing competition. It’s possible pit stop changes could be reconsidered for 2018 if they meet those criteria, a NASCAR spokesman said.