On Saturday (Feb. 10), under the bright Florida sunshine, the cars will once again take to the track for Speedweeks at Daytona International Speedway. While NASCAR has kept many of the rules from last season, one significant set of rules have changed. In an effort to improve safety on #Pit Road, NASCAR has implemented new pit #Road Rules for the 2018 season. A report by Motor Sport provided a lot of the information used in this article.

New season, new pit road rules

For the 2018 season, NASCAR has dropped the number of people allowed over the wall during pit stops from six to five. That means that the number of people over the wall at any given time can potentially be dropped by 40.

The fewer people in pit lane means increased safety, however, the change will take some getting used to for the teams. It’s one thing to practice with five people over the wall, it’s something else entirely during the frenzy of race. Mistakes are bound to happen for the first few races, although NASCAR is confident the teams will have it down pat by the time they get to the third or fourth race.

The change in pit lane rules will also change how some teams develop their race strategy. After all, the decrease in people over the wall will increase safety for crew members but it also will increase pit stop times. Fewer people over the wall means fewer people working on the car. Fewer people working on the car means more time for the car to sit in the pit stall. That’s a change that may potentially affect both pit stop and race strategy.

Kevin Harvick weighs in on the new changes

#Kevin Harvick has had his share of problems in the pit lane. He has lost his temper on more than one occasion and admits the new changes will take some getting used to. Harvick, who is driving the Stewart Haas car for the fifth season, admits the changes are a good thing overall. Safety measures in pit lane needed some improvement and this is a good step in the right direction. As for pit stops taking longer, Harvick points out that pit stops used to be almost 22 seconds long. In comparison the 13-14 seconds they take now seem like no time at all. Harvick isn’t the only driver to give approval to the changes. Throughout NASCAR teams have come out in support of the rule changes, even if it means they have to recreate some of their strategies.

As NASCAR embarks on another season, their focus remains on good, clean, safe racing. While many of the rules from last season remain, the rules that govern pit lane have been updated to provide more protection for the team members. This Saturday, when the gates open at Daytona, and people file into the stands, NASCAR will start the new season with all-out excitement and some extra safety thrown in for good measure.