We have all seen a number of Crew Chief suspensions in the last couple of weeks. Several of them stemming from the dreaded Lug Nut rule. If you are wondering why it keeps happening let me clue you in on why. Because it is worth it to win a race!!
First, lets be honest about something. When Tony Stewart spoke out and said that not having all the wheels tight was a Safety Issue he was clearly using that as the card to get NASCAR to do something about how fast the JGR crews were performing their pit stops and giving themselves a big advantage on Pit row.
Why hasn’t having several Crew Chiefs, the latest being Chad Johnston from the 42, being finder 20K and suspended for a race been enough of a deterrent? Because it is so hard to win and when you do win you are guaranteed into the Chase. Also, in case you haven’t noticed its not that big of a deal to race without the Crew Chief on the box anymore (See Kurt Bush at Pocono). Every team has engineers, car chiefs, and competition directors not to mention the fact that you are allowed to use someone else as a Crew Chief, usually someone who has been a crew chief in the past.
I think the lug nut rule is silly but its a rule. If you break a rule then there has to be a penalty. What should be the penalty then. I would say this. Take away 50 points (more than one race) and if the driver happens to win the race vacate the victory.
What would be the result? Slower pit stops, tight lug nuts. Oh and nobody slamming their body into the car causing an aerodynamically advantageous dent. That may be a story or another time.
Thanks for reading.