Sundays race in Chicago had its fair share of speeding penalties entering and exiting pit road. In total, there were 11 penalties called on teams for speeding and three of which are Chase contenders (18, 20, and 48). The most damaging penalty was on the #48 towards the end of the race when they were caught speeding exiting pit road and were ordered to serve a pass thru penalty under green. That penalty took them out of the lead and wrecked their chances of winning.
You might be asking how this happens and what can be done to fix it. Here’s a few thoughts. Drivers don’t use speedometers for speed, they use gear and RPM. So before a race they know what gear and RPM to run in order to stay under pit road speed. NASCAR controls the speed by using timing lines in multiple sections of pit road. So whenever there is a penalty, NASCAR can tell the teams what section the speeding was in. Teams will pick pit stalls depending on a few things but one is timing lines. Everyone is pushing to get all they can on pit road and playing the timing lines gets tricky. If a driver is very good at getting in and out of their box, plus making sure he gets all he can on the timing lines, then there is a big advantage. The disadvantage……if you risk it and get caught, the penalties can kill your race.
Out of the 11 speeding penalties 8 of them were exiting pit road of which 6 were caught under green flag conditions. Drivers get anxious to get back on the track and under green flag conditions its easy to see how someone can get caught. Whether they’re trying to make up for a bad pit stop, or trying to catch the leader after a quick stop, racing is racing. After this weekend, teams might start to think twice about risk vs. reward when it comes to speed on pit road.