Harvick: “This is 4 out of 7 weeks that we’ve had trouble with the pit guns.”
Kevin Harvick, Joe Gibbs and Adam Stevens comment on the standardized NASCAR pit guns
Kevin Harvick started on the front row yesterday at Texas Motor Speedway. After winning stage 1, Harvick found himself a lap down.
First, Harvick’s crew had a lugnut flew into the jack which prevented lift of the car. Then, a second blow came with a loose wheel. Harvick was forced to return to the pit lane under green.
He fought back to a 2nd place finish. But, Harvick’s not happy.
“It’s just been a frustrating two days. We had a pathetic two days on pit road because we cant get pit guns that work in our pit stalls.”
“We had to pit under green and got ourselves a lap down. The pit guns work half the time and then they don’t half the time. [In the Xfinity race] we had 4 loose wheels because the pit guns can’t get the tires tight.”
“I feel bad for the guys on pit road. They get handed just absolutely inconsistent pieces of equipment. We wound up costing us a race.”
“We’ve had 4-5 issues with the pit guns this year. It’s unfortunate that we have to use a piece of equipment that’s handed to us and that dictates your day.”
Has Stewart-Haas Racing reached out to NASCAR for a solution or something?
“We’ve talked to them. Everybody on pit road has talked to them. This is 4 out of 7 weeks that we’ve had trouble with the pit guns. [In the Xfinity race] the rear pit gun wouldn’t even — We had two lug nuts that were tight in the last two pit stops. You had two lug nuts that had 30 lbs of torque on them.”
“It’s a mess,” Kevin Harvick concluded.
Kevin Harvick finished 2nd to Kyle Busch after battling back from the pit road issues. However, the winners aren’t happy with the guns either…
Joe Gibbs Racing
How about the team owners perspective? NASCAR issued these guns to save the team a boat load of money while simultaneously leveling the playing field. Joe Gibbs Racing specifically was one of the teams that invested anywhere from $100,000-$1,00,000 on pit gun development (the number reports vary).
Bob Pockrass: Do you feel like these pit guns are worth it if it saves you the money?
“No. I don’t,” Joe Gibbs states from the Texas Motor Speedway media center.
“I don’t like things not in our hands. To be quite truthful, I’ve taken a stand on that.”
“That’s something I hope we continue to really evaluate.”
Jeff Gluck: Have you had problems?
“Yes, we have had problems,” crew chief Adam Stevens replies.
“I don’t keep a mental list. But, I think California was the last time we had an issue. So, we got through the last 2 races without an issue.”
“We haven’t had a catastrophic failure. Like sockets falling off or sumthin you’ve maybe seen on somebody else’s car. We’ve had a couple button issues and a couple pressure issues.”
“Is it concerning? It is. You can’t change your race strategy. If you need tires, you need tires. I think it puts a lot of doubt in the changers minds. It probably makes them make more mistakes, up and down pit road than they would have if they had confidence in their equipment.”
“You’re definitely on edge. Listening for a problem, looking for a problem. If you’re number comes up then your number comes up.”