NASCAR aims to eventually allow teams to decide when to change wet tires

There are many in the garage who say it should be done moving forward

There still isn’t a timeline for it but NASCAR absolutely intends to let teams make the decision when to pit while on wet weather tires, and do it under competitive condition, but still want to process a little bit more information.

Speaking on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, Cup Series managing director Brad Moran says it’s just too early to reach that conclusion for a tire that has only been used three times at the highest level of the discipline – North Wilkesboro, Richmond and New Hampshire.

“The reason we haven’t opened it up yet is that no one really knows about these tires, what they will do, it depends on how the track dries and everything,” Moran said on Tuesday. “There are a lot of calculated decisions that go into it and we don’t have all the information yet. We plan on being very caution and careful because what we got to see on Sunday in finishing that race was very big for the industry, for the entire sport and all our fans.

“If we didn’t have this option, those tires available to us, that race would not have finished. We never would have gotten the track dry. There’s no lights at New Hampshire. That race would have ended under the delay.”

But again, the plan is eventually get to a point where teams make that decision and execute the pit stops under competitive conditions.

“We would love to give the tires to the teams and let it be their option,” Moran said. “That’s where we’re working to get to. But we really had very little data points. We’re still learning a lot about these tires every time we put them on and take them off. The teams were all aware of it. We did send out a notice, and I had quite a few meetings with crew chiefs, and everyone understood what our plan is, and how we go start a race, and once it gets going, if it rains, what mode we get into. So the teams did have all of that information available. We would like to get to that one day, but again, we want to make sure this sticks with the sport, and it gives up the opportunity to run in damp conditions.

“So we’re being very cautious and careful with it, and the teams understand why we’re doing that.”

The teams understand, but one crew chief, Rudy Fugle of the Hendrick Motorsports No. 24 teams says they are capable and ready now.

“I fully think that we should be able to, ‘Hey, you spun out,’ you should be able to go get some new tires. ‘Hey, you hurt your tires — your rain tires, trying to come through the field,’ you should be able to come get another set and see if you can make some progress,” Fugle told Sirius on Monday. “All of that, and then at the very end of the race, you know, a lot of people, I bet half the people would’ve put dry (tires) on, and we could’ve seen what would’ve happened.

“So I definitely think there’s a lot more openness, where the teams and the drivers can be in control, for probably 80 percent of the decisions that need to be made.”

A pair of NASCAR members with over-the-wall experience says their peers are capable of doing it too.

Matt Weaver is a Motorsports Insider for Sportsnaut. Follow him on Twitter.

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