A NASCAR official said it’s possible Kyle Busch’s team could receive lenient punishment for having a tire fall off after a pit stop Sunday at Dover International Speedway.
Busch left the pits when his pit crew dropped the jack before his left-rear lug nuts were secured. A similar incident happened to Chase Briscoe in Friday’s truck race.
The NASCAR rulebook calls for four-race suspensions for crew chief, tire changer and tire carrier in the case of a loose wheel because of improper installation, but it also notes safety violations will be handled case by case.
Executive vice president of competition Scott Miller said Monday morning on SiriusXM NASCAR’s The Morning Drive that the perceived lack of intent to fasten five lug nuts on the tire could result in dispensation for those teams.
“It’s possible we will” look at intent, Miller said. “We’ll review everything we have from what we’ve seen so far. It wasn’t trying to go back on the track with two lug nuts. It obviously was human error in both cases. There are a lot of discussions internally on how we’ll rule on that. That process will start later this afternoon.”
The lug nut rule was changed after a spate of loose wheels a little over a year ago. NASCAR also began checking lug nuts postrace, penalizing teams that didn’t fasten five after the final stop.
“It’s fairly obvious when things keep occurring that are either competition or safety related, and you feel you need to ramp up consequences of doing said things,” Miller said. “With wheels and hitting two to three lug nuts on the last pit stop, that’s where rules came from.”
Other topics addressed by Miller:
–There apparently is no consideration of changing the overtime line rule, which Dale Earnhardt Jr. advocated abolishing after it played a role in Sunday’s win by Jimmie Johnson.
“There’s no question about it,” Miller said. “That’s black and white and straightforward. We don’t want the races to end that way, but we put that procedure in place starting last season, and that’s how we do it.
“There was a lot that went into that, a lot of conversation that were had. One of the big considerations was superspeedway racing, and the havoc we typically have on restarts and the green-white-checkered there. It was a way to not have to do that three times at those racetracks. That was a factor, but that wasn’t only the factor…. It’s something we’re always looking at, we don’t like races to end like they did yesterday, but that’s what we’ve got right now, and we’ll continue to look at things like we always do.”
–NASCAR elected to skip using VHT at Dover after consulting with drivers who felt it wasn’t necessary, but the traction compound could be used again after “fairly decent success” at Bristol and Charlotte.
“I think the racetracks are going to have to lend themselves to strongly consider using it,” Miller said. “From talking to lot of drivers, we don’t believe it’s necessary everywhere
“It could come into play in the future at one-lane tracks. Maybe we put it further outside the groove and hopefully that helps to widen the racing groove out and make for better action at tracks that are one lane.”