NASCAR: Record Pit Stops Predicted For Richmond

by Joe Rutland
(Photo by Allan Hamilton/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Expect a record number of pit stops for Sunday’s NASCAR race at Richmond. You can watch the race on FOX on TV, too. Fans might wonder why there are so many pit stops taking place. Drivers have been getting used to their Next Gen cars this season. Obviously, this will be the first time drivers will be running those new cars at one of the great NASCAR tracks.

NASCAR Drivers Might Just Be Making A Ton of Pit Stops on Sunday

So, we know that the pressure will be turned up as NASCAR Cup Series teams have been arriving at Richmond Raceway. They are going to face some powerful short-track action.

Take note, NASCAR fans. Richmond Raceway will be the shortest track the Next Gen car has seen in a points race so far. Drivers will feel the pressure, along with pit crews, on the shorter track. It will turn up the intensity. It’s not just from a braking perspective for drivers. This also involves a speed perspective for pit crews in order to gain or retain track positions.

Richmond is known to be tough on breaking. Drivers appear to be using the larger brake package that is in use on the Next Gen. This was noticed while they practiced and qualified on Saturday. Remember their race at Phoenix Raceway? Well, we will see brake cooling opened up to keep up with the braking demands required here.

Look for Brakes To Cool Down A Lot; Tires Will Have Fall-Off Conditions

This will keep the brakes cool. Yet take note that you are likely going to see see more tire fall-off than at Phoenix. It will make things exciting, too.

Stewart-Haas Racing and Joe Gibbs Racing had strong representation in the final qualifying session. Still, Ryan Blaney was able to capture the pole in his Team Penske Ford Mustang. That run for Blaney follows strong results in practice. He topped the numbers for short-run and long-run speed as he was fastest on all runs less than 30 laps. We get more from NASCAR.

OK, so that tire fall-off, combined with fast speed on a short track, will put pit crews in the spotlight. Richmond is likely to bring out record times during pit stops. This track will put pressure on teams as track position is significant. It’s so because alternate pit-stop choreographies have been made legal.

Multiple teams with crews from the Nos. 18 and 9 cars that are topping the time charts most weeks. That No. 18 crew, along with other Joe Gibbs Racing teammates, are likely to deploy their alternate pit-stop choreography Sunday. This is where you will see both of their tire changers coming around the front of the car, which should shorten pit-stop times.