This Sundays race in Atlanta will be the first real test of the new lug nut rule. Daytona is not a track where pit stops can impact running position so much that teams are forced to push the envelope, Atlanta is! See, at Atlanta drivers are going to take four tires every time they can and they know that track position is huge. So teams are going to be on display Sunday in an all out pit competition. I would guess you’ll see 8-11 stops per team and maybe more if the cautions come enough. Every time a caution….every time you’ll see four tires. With a race this dependent on tires, you’re going to see crews risking a lot more.

I think the race will start out pretty conservative on pit road but will end up at an all out gamble. The fun part will be with 5 laps to go and a caution comes out. Then you’ll see which teams gamble on nuts and which ones play it safe. Its hard to know what is right and what is wrong because so many variables go into a good pit stop and a tight wheel. Its not always the changers that have the loose wheels. If a tire carrier hangs a wably tire or the jackman drops the car early, both those can cause a loose wheel.

Here’s another variable that makes Atlanta such an interesting track to push the limits of the lug nut rule….its fast! You make a mistake here and its serious consequences. Drivers and crew chiefs know that so taking the risk will be on everyone’s mind. This will be a fun race to watch and seeing how pit crews, coaches, and crew chiefs decide to play it will be exciting.

Good luck to all the teams and crews this weekend at Atlanta

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