Wednesday, September 27, 2023

NASCAR Will Utilize Two Different Pit Road Speed Limits at Atlanta

Atlanta Pit road speed limit NASCAR two pit road speed limits Atlanta Motor Speedway 2023
NASCAR has opted to adopt two pit road speed limits, which will be enforced in different sections of pit road at Atlanta Motor Speedway this weekend. Photo Credit: Jonathan McCoy,

Okay, this is an interesting one, but NASCAR will not utilize one pit road speed for the full length of pit road at Atlanta Motor Speedway this weekend. With the entrance to the pit road at the 1.54-mile superspeedway being at the entrance of Turn 3, NASCAR has opted to adjust the way the pit road is policed a bit.

In Sections 1 and 2 of pit road, which is located between Turns 3 and 4, cars will be permitted to travel at a speed limit of 90 mph under green flag conditions. When the cars reach sections 3 through 18, the pit road speed limit will be set at 45 mph.

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Under caution, all sections of pit road will have a pit road speed limit of 45 mph.

Earlier this year, the pit road entrance at Atlanta Motor Speedway was moved to the entrance of Turn 3 to alleviate sketchy situations that drivers had experienced in attempting to pull out of the drafting pack to pit on the dog-legged frontstretch at Atlanta in 2022.

In the spring race, the pit road speed limit was one constant speed — 45 mph — for the entire length of the extended pit road. This time around it won’t be one constant speed limit.

Obviously, it’s a bit confusing to have two different speed limits on pit road, and it will certainly be a juggling act for drivers and teams, which rely on RPMs to know whether they are breaking the speed limit on pit road, as NASCAR race cars do not contain a speedometer.

Now instead of being given one RPM value to remember on pit road, drivers will have to keep an eye on two different values of RPM at different portions of pit road. And then under caution, they’ll have to be reminded to only worry about the 45 mph RPM levels.

It’ll be interesting to see if the wonky pit road speed limit plan at Atlanta leads to an increase in pit road speeding penalties this weekend.

However, the move by NASCAR to make a portion of the pit road speed limit 90 mph, will reduce the impact a driver will have on their day if they have to make an unscheduled pit stop during the race. They just have to hope they don’t speed getting to their box.

Toby Christie
Toby Christie
Toby is the Founder, and Editor-in-Chief of Toby is also the co-host of The Final Lap Weekly Podcast. Additionally, he is an award-winning writer, and has followed the sport as a fan since 1993.

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