NASCAR announced on Wednesday that it will limit the number of personnel teams in all three national divisions that can be brought to the track each weekend.
The most notable byproduct of this decision is the reduction of crew members who can go over the wall during pit stops from six to five. NASCAR vice president and chief racing development officer Steve O’Donnell wouldn’t admit it during a Wednesday press conference, but this is essentially a cost-savings decision.
However, O’Donnell also stated that the procedure would emphasize the team aspect of the sport, highlighting those who perform duties other than driving or crew chiefing.
Rosters across all three national series will be composed of three categories: organizational, road crew and pit crew. It will be up to teams to decide how to distribute the positions for their respective at-track rosters.
Each Cup Series organization will get three or four organizational at-track roster slots, depending on if they are a one-two or three-four car squad. They will also be allotted 12 road crew and five pit crew members. In Xfinity, teams are allowed one organizational member, seven road crew members and five pit crew members. In Trucks, that number is one, six and five.
Borrowing from stick-and-ball sports, each roster member must be assigned a number and letter based on their position, which must be visible at all times on both the team uniform and on armbands.
This is similar to World Rally Championship regulations, which allow only a set number of crew members to touch the cars in between stages. Those members must have an ankle band on or be in violation of the rules.
Organizational jobs include competition director, team manager, technical director and IT specialists. Road crew members include crew chief, car chief, engineers, mechanics, shock specialists, tire specialist, aero specialists, spotter and engine tuners.
Communications positions like media relations representatives are exempt.
It’s also worth noting that each team’s crew members can only work on their own car and not another from the same organization unless that crew member is listed on the roster for both teams — a crew member from the Hendrick Motorsports No. 48 team cannot help the No. 24 team unless they are listed on both organizational depth charts.
Cup Series teams will be allowed one extra road crew position at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the three road courses (Sonoma, Watkins Glen, Charlotte Roval), where teams often use multiple spotters. Also, an additional road crew roster spot will be allowed for Xfinity teams at 10 races and Truck Series teams at five.