In the face of increasing driver criticism about safety, NASCAR Senior Vice President of Competition Scott Miller said Friday afternoon that the sanctioning body will re-examine its lug nut rules.
Starting with the 2015 season NASCAR stopped requiring teams to tighten five lug nuts on all four wheels during pit stops. That has resulted in some times using only four lugs on one side and three on the other.
In turn, that’s produced a spate of loose wheels in recent weeks and increasingly strident criticism from drivers.
“Until this point, we’ve never really had too much trouble,” said Miller.
Miller said Friday that NASCAR will continue to engage in discussions with the teams and drivers and decide whether a change needs to be made.
“Since the drivers are now questioning it, it’s time for us to kind of re-evaluate our position and work with the community on looking at possibly different ways to enforce the pit-road rules,” Miller said.
Miller did not off a timetable for evaluating the rules.
“The teams are obviously pushing harder than they ever have in this area,” said Miller. “And it’s time for us to take a look at it, but we’ll do that as an industry. The open dialog is very good right now between NASCAR and the teams, so we’ll work internally and with them to move forward here.”
Several prominent NASCAR drivers agreed that communication has significantly improved in the last year.
“Our communication as drivers, the barriers that we have, those have been broken down tremendously over the last year to two,” said Denny Hamlin of Joe Gibbs Racing. “Our meetings with NASCAR have changed the sport and will continue to change the sport for many years.”
“I think we have made major steps on over the last year or so, certainly not all the steps we want to make but still major steps,” added Team Penske’s Brad Keselowski.
Hendrick Motorsports General Manager Doug Duchardt, too, said he favored collaboration between teams and NASCAR. “I feel like from our standpoint, the best way to come to a solution to that is for us to work with NASCAR on whatever the right way to approach it is,” he said.