NASCAR Changes Crew Glove Rules

Crew glove-rule changes are the most significant of the rules changes provided to the press on March 13th. That change formalizes and narrows NASCAR’s start-of-the-season crackdown.

The Rule

NASCAR’s rule book requires over-the-wall crew members to wear SFI 3.3-certified gloves. This is the same spec driver gloves must meet (and the justification for the Atlanta Joey Logano penalty.)

But there was an asterisk to the rule. Prior to this update, a sentence at the bottom of the table showing rules for crew wear said:

Gloves should be worn at all times during pit stops; however, penalties will not be issued for temporary removal of gloves for a reasonable, limited period of time for the purpose of removing windshield tear-offs or making non-routine repairs which are inhibited by the use of gloves.

NASCAR Rule Book

The Change

NASCAR revised that sentence this week.

Gloves must be worn at all times during pit stops; however, penalties will not be issued for temporary removal of gloves for a reasonable, limited period of time for the purpose of removing windshield tear-offs or making non-routine repairs which are inhibited by the use of gloves.

NASCAR Rule Book as of this week

Consequences

SFI 3.3-certified gloves are bulky. They’re fine when you’re driving, or flipping switches in the car. They are not, as the asterisked phrase acknowledges, the ideal tool for doing fine work.

On SiriusXM’s The Late Shift, former crew chief Todd Gordon noted that NASCAR had gone up and down pit road at Daytona to tell crews they would be enforcing the glove rule this year. Gordon wondered aloud whether some teams might have been using less bulky (i.e. not SFI-certified) gloves.

Many crew members in the garage wear Mechanix gloves. The photo below (from the Mechanics website) shows a crew member with Kevlar arm sleeves and gloves. The arm sleeves are especially useful if you have to reach into the engine compartment. Mechanix-type gloves meet ANSI standards for heat and abrasion resistance, but are not SFI certified.

Less-bulky gloves are an advantage for tire changers because they can better sense feedback from the pit gun. One could see a team could argue that the rule, as previously written with the phrase ‘should wear gloves at all times’, did not prohibit tire changers from wearing thinner, non-SFI-certified gloves.

That loophole is gone. Gorden wondered aloud whether the larger-than-average number of pit-road bobbles at Atlanta might be due to NASCAR’s stepped-up enforcement. (Teams also get rules updates or wind of rules updates before the press does.)

Other Changes

  • NASCAR’s changes to section 6.2 on vehicle eligibility requires all vehicles be inspected before the event and requires vehicles to be checked in for inspection during the inspection period.
  • Previously, the pole-winning crew chief had to notify the series director whether they wanted to start on the inside or outside line. Now, the pole-winning driver will choose his position on the one-to-go lap.
  • Race control decides when to assess lap penalties. The previous wording left open the possibility of a car being held in the pits getting out before the leader and losing fewer laps.
  • NASCAR left itself the option of raising the level of a penalty assessed before or during a race upon further review. They can now consider additional information that comes to light.
  • Teams can put tear-off removal tabs (the piece a crew member grips to pull the tear-off off) on the left side or the right side of the windows at road courses — but teams must choose one or the other.

Those are the major rules changes for the NASCAR Cup Series. When you’re watching the race this weekend, keep an eye on the gloves on pit road!

Please help me publish my next book!

The Physics of NASCAR is 15 years old. One component in getting a book deal is a healthy subscriber list. I promise not to send more than two emails per month and will never sell your information to anyone.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.