LOLMDS series director Rick Schwallie explains the flat tire rules
The Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series announced a new tire rule at the start of the 2019 racing season. They announced it at the drivers meeting during the first race of the season last week at Golden Isles Speedway.
For starters, there’s been an increase in tire failures for dirt late model racing across the board. Those tire failures have created more cautions. There’s really not a whole lot that can be done about that situation in particular.
However, outside of genuine failures, some teams have exploited other tire related rules. Lots of drivers have stopped on the race track over the years for the sole purpose of bringing out a yellow.
It brings the show to a halt as the leaders are in a three way battle at the front. That kind of thing is a cancer to product of dirt racing.
In a lot of these case, their tires are not flat. They just needed a caution so they could get to pit road and put on new tires.
Series director Rick Schwallie details flat tire rules for the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series
“Really, the only rule change to it is that if a caution is pulled by a guy himself. Either he’s stopped on the race track or he’s spun, by himself. He can’t dip into the pits and change tires unless his tire is flat.”
“That’s it. Anybody else can go to the pits and change tires for that caution. As long as they weren’t the caution car.”
“We’ve had rules in the past where if you pull an intentional caution then it will cost you a lap. We’d put them a lap down for an intentional caution.”
“The only thing that accomplishes is it makes people go and do some sort of spin on the race track. A spin that makes it look like they lost the handle on it.”
“But, then they end up tearing somebody else up. That’s not the goal to do that either.”
Is it a rule change? A reminder? Or a new enforcement of something that was already there?
“It’s just tightening up our enforcement of it. It’s not necessarily a rule change.”
This rule only applies to pull who cause a caution while there tires are still up. If they cause a single car caution by spinning and/or stopping on the race track then they are unable to change their tires.
The exception is that a driver can change tires if a tire is actually flat.
“We just don’t want the show interfered with. At the end of the day, we’re not taking it all away. Where a guy can’t go to the pits, make adjustments, change tires, drive up through the field and win the race.”
“That’s part of the strategy and we’re not worried about that. It’s just that we don’t want to see unnecessary cautions from somebody stopped on the race track for a chance to put a new tire on,” Schwallie concluded.
The rule has been in place throughout the duration of Speedweeks.