NASCAR planning to mandate standard pit gun beginning in 2018

Over the last few years, race teams have poured hundreds of thousands of dollars into developing pit guns that help gain valuable time for tire changers.

But that will change next year. Two people with knowledge of the situation told on Monday that NASCAR is planning to move to a standard pit gun — manufactured by Paoli — starting in 2018.

That means teams like Joe Gibbs Racing, which was known for its pit gun development, will lose a potential advantage next season.

When asked about the pit gun change, NASCAR issued the following statement:  “NASCAR is working on a number of initiatives to enhance both the performance and safety of our sport. One of the many competition initiatives considered is the future of pit equipment. We will provide an update on some of the initiatives at the end of the 2017 season. In the meantime, our focus remains on the exciting championship battles that are playing out across all three national series.”

NASCAR has looked for ways to remove costs from race teams, and standardizing the pit guns could potentially create more parity at the same time.

There’s also a possibility NASCAR could monitor lug nuts through the guns, because some teams have already figured out a way to get the pit guns to tell them if the tire changer properly secured a lug nut or not.

It’s unclear how NASCAR could roll out the change, but the sanctioning body could potentially pass out the pit guns at the track each week in order to prevent them from being altered.

This will be a major change for the sport’s tire changers, who can currently customize pit guns to fit their hand speed.