Almirola says he’s a proponent of a pit speed limiter for the cars

Aric Almirola says he’s in favor of a mechanism that forces cars to run no faster than pit road speed on pit road.

During his media availability at Pocono Raceway earlier today, the driver of the No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford elaborated on how he’d like to see NASCAR implement a device on cars that forces the cars to run just pit road speed on pit road.

“I’ve long been a proponent for some sort of mechanism that we can have in the car that just causes us to go pit road speed,” he said. “If they’re that worried about us getting an advantage between timing lines and things like that, why don’t they just make us all go pit road speed like every other form of racing has. I think it would be safer. I think it would give us the opportunity to actually look out of our windshields because, like I said, every driver coming down pit road – that’s why you see it a lot, if somebody checks up to get in their pit box you, you see cars stack up on pit road.”

This discussion came about after NASCAR implemented more timing zones on pit road to prevent teams from accelerating into their pit stalls to take advantage of the time over distance formula used to calculate pit speed and to prevent cars from illegally passing one another on pit road. The extra timing zones were first used during last week’s XFINITY Series race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. There were 12 zones, roughly one for every 3.5 stalls, used during the race.

For this weekend’s race at Pocono, 18 zones – up from 10 in June – will be utilized, nearly one for every two stalls. Almirola was also asked what effect the zones will have on the race tomorrow.

“It forces us to be a lot more mindful of our tach,” he added. “You have to realize and something I think a lot of people don’t understand and don’t realize is that our dash is mounted low in the race cars, so when we’re going down pit road we have to look down at our dash to make sure that we’re keeping our pit road speed at an optimal speed. We want to go fast enough to make time on pit road. You don’t want to go too slow because then you give up time to your competitors, and if you go just 100 RPM too fast you’re speeding and then you get a penalty.”

He addressed how drivers are now focusing more on the dash and less on what’s ahead.

“So we’re really focused and concentrating on looking down at our dash and not really looking up at all until our spotters and crew chiefs tell us we’re five away or 10 away, and then you kind of look up but at the same time make sure you’re maintaining a pit road speed,” he said.

“Before, with the timing lines being so far apart, you kind of had some leeway to where if you are supposed to be running one red light and you happen to flash two or three red lights, which would be speeding, you had an opportunity to kind of slow back down and slow back down to a few green lights and get the time between those segments back to where you wouldn’t be speeding. Now, with the timing lines closer together, if you just get a little bit greedy or you look up to see where your pit stall is at and you creep up your rpms a little bit, you’re gonna get a speeding penalty.”

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com.

Tucker White
Tucker White
I've followed NASCAR for well over 20 years of my life, both as a fan and now as a member of the media. As of 2023, I'm on my eighth season as a traveling NASCAR beat writer. For all its flaws and dumb moments, NASCAR at its best produces some of the best action you'll ever see in the sport of auto racing. Case in point: Kyle Larson's threading the needle pass at Darlington Raceway on May 9, 2021. On used-up tires, racing on a worn surface and an aero package that put his car on the razor's edge of control, Larson demonstrated why he's a generational talent. Those are the stories I want to capture and break down. In addition to NASCAR, I also follow IndyCar and Formula 1. As a native of Knoxville, Tennessee, and a graduate of the University of Tennessee, I'm a diehard Tennessee Volunteers fan (especially in regards to Tennessee football). If covering NASCAR doesn't kill me, down the road, watching Tennessee football will. I'm also a diehard fan of the Atlanta Braves, and I lived long enough to see them win a World Series for the first time since 1995 (when I was just a year old). I've also sworn my fan allegiance to the Nashville Predators, though that's not paid out as much as the Braves. Furthermore, as a massive sports dork, I follow the NFL on a weekly basis. Though it's more out of an obligation than genuine passion (for sports dorks, following the NFL is basically an unwritten rule). Outside of sports, I'm a major cinema buff and a weeb. My favorite film is "Your Name" and my favorite anime is "Black Lagoon."

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