Should NASCAR Instate Mandatory Pit Windows to Tackle the Fuel Mileage Problem


The NASCAR Cup races on Super Speedways are not the same anymore. Why? As opposed to hard racing or putting on a show for the fans, the drivers and team rely on strategies to gain an edge over the opposition. The major trend spreading like a virus amongst the team is fuel economy and spending less time on the pit road.
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So, essentially, the drivers do not put the pedal to the metal in the initial stages of the race. Instead, they form groups and drive at a similar speed under the draft. It’s not until the final few laps of the stage or the race that the drivers test their cars and opponents to the limit. For the teams, this might come out as a winning strategy, but for fans, the core essence of racing is sort of lost.
Fortunately, there have been measures now taken into consideration by NASCAR to tackle these concerns. And it looks like NASCAR can be inspired by CART to devise their own framework or rules to change the mileage racing.
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Pit windows could put an end to fuel mileage racing in NASCAR
What a mandatory pit window does is provide the teams and drivers with a stipulated time wherein they can refuel and get back on track. Usually, it is not just a one-lap thing, but, as the name suggests, a window in which the teams can choose to pit their cars. The window can range from one series to another depending on the length and other factors racing factors.
This rule was brought into play in the CART Series during the 2001 season. Initially, the drivers were skeptical about the idea and didn’t want the officials to dictate their pitting strategies, but they ultimately took the new change very well. Nascarman on X even posted the comments by the drivers back in the day who spoke about the pit windows and their effects.
“The pit window really helped. We were able to race flat out and not worry about fuel. It made it a driver’s race, and more enjoyable.” However, with NASCAR, strategies like saving fuel and running economically are a vital part of the race plan. So seeing such a mandatory pit stop in the Cup Series, for now, is a far-fetched thought.
In turn, NASCAR officials are backing the current approach by the teams, and they are looking to hand them some relief in terms of refueling.
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NASCAR’s very own plan to tackle fuel mileage racing at Superspeedways
In lap No. 29 of the Daytona 500 race on Monday, the leader’s time was 51.307 seconds. When compared to the leader’s lap time on Lap 37 (47.489 seconds), it is almost four seconds closer. So it was evident that teams were saving on fuel. So how do the teams maximize on the pit stops without having to make multiple ones to stay on track, racing?
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According to a report by NBC, the potential area where NASCAR could provide the teams with relief is by increasing the flow of fuel from the can to the car during the pit stop. With the Next-Gen car already coming up with a number of changes, re-configuring the fuel cell size would not be a wise call. Moreover, the fans certainly would not want the races to be shortened to curb mileage racing.
It is a tough call for NASCAR to make on their part. Will there be an end to the fuel mileage racing soon in the NASCAR Cup Series races?


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