NASCAR has meetings scheduled with Joe Gibbs Racing to discuss the pit guns
Joe Gibbs went to victory lane at Bristol Motor Speedway. However, two of his cars struggled with pit gun issues which put them laps down to the leader at the .5-mile short track due to loose wheels.
Harvick was another driver with loose wheel issues. He was plagued for the second week in a row, maybe the 3rd.
According to Hamlin, RPM’s are the issue with the standardized NASCAR pit guns. The guns are inconsistent, it’s not that the teams aren’t taking the time to get the wheels tight. It’s more that the amount of time needed to get the wheels tight varies from stop to stop.
“It’s just inconsistencies,” Denny Hamlin said to NBC Sports after the race. “My frustration is that in absolutely no other professional sport does the league give you faulty equipment to play with and that’s what we have here.”
Joe Gibbs comments on pit guns
“We had two loose wheels today that put us down multiple laps,” the 4-car team owner Joe Gibbs says of the race at Bristol Motor Speedway from the media center.
“For our sponsors, I’m calling everybody trying to explain it. And it’s hard to explain.”
“You know, we all work together. NASCAR’s been very good about working with us. When we come up against a problem we’ve been good at working hard to solve it.”
“We have a number of meetings this week with NASCAR. We’ll be working on this.”
“I think it would be hard for us to build the guns for everybody. That would be tough. But, I think we need to come up with a solution.”
“When you got something like this going on and it’s happening to multiple teams, each week. I think you gotta find a way to fix it. I think that’s what we’ll be talking about this week.”
What’s new about pit guns?
Last year, Joe Gibbs went on in on pit guns. The team went to the drawing board and developed their own guns to shave milliseconds in the pit lane. The cost of that project was $100,000+.
This year, NASCAR stepped in to moderate pit guns. They issue the same pit gun to all the teams. The gun is designed by Paoli, the same company that does the pit guns for F1. Formula One teams complete 4 tire pit stops that range in the 2.5-3.5 second range.
Ahead of the race, teams pick up the air hose and the pressure regulator. After those hoses are installed they go back to the NASCAR officials and pick a number. That number determines the air guns the team will use for the race. The guns are handed out about an hour ahead of the race.
There has been a spike in loose wheels for the 2018 racing season.