Bristol Motor Speedway’s pit road was brought into question on Saturday night by Jeff Gordon who called it “a joke” as some drivers, including Irwin Tools Night Race winner Brad Keselowski used it to their advantage.
Brad and others benefited from advantageous pit stalls on the 0.533-mile oval as NASCAR measures pit-road speeds by time and distance, allowing teams to choose stalls just past a timing line. After pit stops drivers were able to chose where to gun their engines before slamming on their breaks before the next timing line, giving them a track advantage in a rather pathetic attempt to beat the system.
After being beaten out of the pits by Matt Kenseth who used that strategy, Gordon, who led the race for 206 laps said of Kenseth’s approach:
“They’ve got some work to do at this pit road,” adding, “The racetrack is awesome, but the pit road is terrible. When a guy can run 60 mph down pit road, and the pit road speed (limit) is (30 mph), then something is wrong with the system.
“It’s a joke that somebody can leave pit road and run that fast down pit road and then slam on the brakes. Kenseth drove by four cars and so did (Keselowski) when he left his pit stall. I just don’t understand it.”
Officials appear to be siding with Gordon as Sprint Cup director John Darby told NASCAR:
“Saw what happened tonight, and we’re already looking into it. What we are likely to do is install a few more scoring loops on pit road in order to create more segments.”
Gordon doesn’t believe that would be enough and would like the Sprint Cup series to consider speed restriction technology for pits, in the Izod IndyCar Series drivers must push a button while heading into pit road which automatically restricts their vehicles speed while heading out of a pit stop.
Despite problems at last nights race, Gordon still cites Martinsville Speedway as a worse track to race on due to pit road issues.