Lug Luts on a Race Car

Safety in Motorsports

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In 2014 NASCAR relaxed its rule of making sure every car that left pit road had all five lug nuts per wheel, this meant a car could leave pit road with 3 or 4 lug nuts on a wheel. Back in April of this year Tony Stewart was fined 35,000 dollars by NASCAR. Tony was fined for publicly speaking out against the lug nut rule, he felt NASCAR wasn’t keeping the drivers in a safe environment. For those who don’t understand why this is an issue; when a wheel doesn’t have all lug nuts securely fastened it will begin to wobble even at standard driving speeds this is dangerous, imagine it 200 miles per hour. At any speed the wheel could break off and send the driver into a wall or oncoming traffic. I thought this was an interesting topic since my father was a crew chief for fifteen plus years, there were many things he stressed to me when he began taking me to races first being a very long list of safety protocols he still stresses to this day and lug nuts. He always joked you don’t want to be the last guy who had changed a tire that ended up breaking off ten miles down the race course. What baffled me was the fact NASCAR even had a lug nut rule, I mean “why wouldn’t you put all five on?” why run the risk of having the tire fall off in the first place. I understand  crew chiefs are looking for ways to shave time off their pit stops but if that endangers drivers it shouldn’t even be a thought. I commend Tony Stewart for speaking out against NASCAR and NASCAR for being quick to rectify it. Motorsports can be dangerous, participant, spectator, and staff safety should always be a priority.

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