It’s always a nervous time when NASCAR starts to introduce a new generation of cars and all the changes that they will undergo. The biggest change that has been introduced is a single lug-nut wheel.
This change is made for safety as well as convenience for the crews. Little things like having to come to the track and glue 5 lug-nuts onto all their wheels will now be eliminated. The alloy used for the single lug-nut wheel is 30% more durable than the alloy in the 5 lug-nut wheels.
The biggest factor is that this will cut down on the number of loose lug-nuts that drivers will drive out onto the track with. Not only is it safer as loose lug-nuts can cause major wrecks, but that also means fewer penalties. That is enough to make me fall in love with it because pit-stop penalties are the most annoying thing to me when I watch a race and this will essentially eliminate one of them.
The fact of the matter is that fans don’t care about the logistics. All fans care about is the fact that NASCAR continues to evolve and take the sport away from its dirty south roots when you bought a car off the lot and took it out racing. The stock is essentially gone from the stock car.
I understand. I agree to a certain degree, but I also feel like changing these lug-nuts is a change that fans won’t even notice when it comes to the actual races. They just don’t like it because it reminds them of those “darn European cars!”
For what it’s worth, the general consensus around the garage is that crews are satisfied with the change as it does make their lives a little easier and it will eliminate up to 10-seconds off pit stops, which will subtly help the pace of the race.
My thoughts are simple, I don’t really care.
I grew up during the time when NASCAR was already changing into this new generation of cars, so I don’t have that old school sense of passion. I love the sport for the racing and the drivers, evolving the car to help ensure safety and technological advances are something you couldn’t stop from happening even if you wanted to.
If NASCAR hadn’t changed the car since 2000, fans would be complaining about how they refuse to advance the cars. There is no winning for NASCAR.
I’m not concerned about the new wheels at all. Outside of the traditional aspect of the sport, this does not affect the actual product and it’s safer for drivers and helps crew members out.