Johnson, NASCAR talk pit miscue at Charlotte

Russell LaBounty/NKPPhoto

By Caleb Whisler, Staff Writer

The strong day for Jimmie Johnson almost went up in smokes during the second to last pit stop Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway after the possibility of a loose lug nut.

As soon as the jack dropped on the left hand side of the car. However, the left front tire changer quickly noticed that he did not secure all five lug nuts on the car.  Johnson stopped the car, backed up some, and the tire changer secured the lug nut.

When the tire changer secured the lug nut, Johnson was outside of his pit box. According to the NASCAR rule book, Johnson should have been penalized one lap for pitting outside of the box. NASCAR did not penalize Johnson.

After the race, Johnson confirmed that this was normal for NASCAR to not penalize for the miscue. “A couple weeks at New Hampshire and they informed us that does not count as equipment outside the box. I was going off of Chad’s cues, stopped, put the lug nut on and away I went,” said Johnson.

NASCAR confirmed Johnson’s comments. According to the sanctioning body, there was no penalty for Johnson because the team “self-penalized” themselves by having a slow stop. Because lug nuts are now being policed by the sanctioning body, the side of safety trumps the penalty. NASCAR has allowed this all year during the multiple instances. This “rule” is not in the rule book, but known through the industry.

Despite the miscue, Johnson was able to finish in the seventh position.

One Comment

  1. Brian

    October 9, 2017 at 11:00 am

    If this has happened all year why have we never had it brought to attention previously? Seems like a b.s. answer/reason/justification to me.

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