NASCAR & Auto Racing

New pit rules change tire-handling practice, limit distance crew can push stalled racer

NASCAR has informed Sprint Cup teams of rules changes governing pit road procedures for 2008, including one that will force many teams to change how they handle the right-side tires that have been taken off during a pit stop.

Tires that have been removed during a pit stop can no longer be free-rolled from the outside of the pit box to the pit wall.

Now, a team member must be in control of the tire until it reaches the inner half of the pit box before being released or the team will face a penalty.

The change is intended to reduce chances of tires rolling loose and becoming a hazard on pit road.

Teams also will now be allowed to push their car no more than the distance of three pit boxes if the car is stalled.