Thursday, May 14, 2015

NASCAR upgrades safety rules for pit crew members

   In what appears to be in response to a rash of fuel-related fires on pit road during some recent races, NASCAR on Wednesday issued an email to all pit crew members outlining some new safety requirements which will take effect the first week of June.

   In the email, a copy of which was obtained by The Observer, NASCAR notes that some items which have been recommended for pit crew members will soon become mandatory.

   All pit crew members, whether they fuel the car or not, will be required to wear fire retardant protective gloves, underwear (from the neck to the ankles), head socks (which cover the nose and mouth) and socks.

   The underwear, head socks and socks were only recommended for pit crew members who did not actually work with fueling the car. The email noted the rules should go into effect on June 4 and a technical bulletin would likely be issued before then.

   In one of the recent most series incidents, three pit crew members were injured in the April 24 Xfinity Series race at Richmond, Va. A malfunction in the fueling head, which seals the fuel can to the car, caused fuel to spill during a pit stop for driver Brendan Gaughan. Sparks from the car's lug nuts ignited the fuel into a spectacular fire.