NASCAR has updated a pit road rule change for the 2013 season. The gas man’s role will change again.
Beginning in 2011, NASCAR removed the catch can in favor of a self-venting gas can. The change did not only affect the way the gas is distributed in the car but also the gas man’s duties. When the catch can was removed, the gas man now had an additional part to his job, making adjustments on the car.
The person who would hold the catch can would make the adjustments on the car before the change. Once that position was eliminated from pit stops, the most logical next choice to make adjustments to the car was the gas man. But now it will change again.
Starting in 2013, the gas man can not make any adjustments on the car while he is fueling the car.
The rule as written by NASCAR:
9-15 Pit Procedures During Race
M. The fuel handler must be in control of the fuel can at all times when fuel is being added to the car. The fuel handler will not be permitted to perform any adjustments or other pit stop procedures while the fuel can coupler is engaged with the car-mounted adapter.
So how will this affect pit stops in 2013?
Any adjustments made to the car will have to be made by someone other than the gas man unless he is not fueling the car during a pit stop.
How much of an affect that the rule change will have on pit stops is an unknown. The new change may be a learning process during the season but teams will find ways to make the most of what they have, just like they have done in years past.
At the end of the day, fans may not notice any changes during pit stops but no one will know until race day.