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HomeNASCAR NewsNASCAR Cup Series NewsPit Strategy and Precision: How Pit Stops Shaped the 2023 NASCAR Championship

Pit Strategy and Precision: How Pit Stops Shaped the 2023 NASCAR Championship

Pit Strategy and Precision: In the grand finale of the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season at Phoenix Raceway, pit road drama unfolded as Ryan Blaney clinched his first title in a 312-lap battle in the desert. Amidst the intensity, pit strategy played a pivotal role in determining the championship outcome.

A significant storyline leading up to the championship race was the 2021 championship experience of Kyle Larson and the No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports team, a valuable asset that the other three title contenders lacked. The No. 5 crew showcased their prowess once again, gaining positions in all four pit stops under caution during the race. Comparatively, here’s a breakdown of the spots gained and lost on yellow-flag pit stops by the championship contenders, excluding Christopher Bell.

It appeared that Blaney secured the title despite challenges from his No. 12 Penske Racing pit crew. However, not all pit stops proved to be setbacks. Blaney made a significant move, gaining two spots during the first round of pit stops after stage one. Then, during the sole green-flag pit cycle, the No. 12 crew demonstrated their skill, ensuring Blaney stayed ahead of Larson and Byron until the race’s final caution emerged with 37 laps remaining.

On the last pit stop at lap 277, Blaney dropped four spots, partly due to Denny Hamlin and Erik Jones opting for two tires to take the lead. However, Hamlin and Jones’ strategy quickly faded due to the new tire compound’s higher wear levels. This set the stage for Ross Chastain’s race win and allowed Blaney to outmaneuver Larson and Byron for the championship.

In the end, Larson and the No. 5 team executed their strategy flawlessly, both on the track and in the pit stall. However, Blaney and the No. 12 team showcased a slightly superior speed.

“Yeah, [Blaney’s] car was really fast in the last few months, especially today,” Larson acknowledged. “Our pit crew and pit road really kept us in the game. They did everything in their power to get the job done.”

Pit Strategy and Precision (2)

As the dust settles on the 2023 season, the NASCAR Cup Series now heads into the offseason. The anticipation builds for the return of racing action at the Busch Clash at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on Sunday, Feb. 4, followed by the prestigious 66th running of the Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 18.

ALSO READ: Chase Elliott Journey: Overcoming Challenges in the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series

Our Reader’s Queries

What is the pitstop strategy?

In the world of racing, pit strategies are crucial for success. These strategies involve scheduling between one and four stops, depending on the circuit. The time between these stops is referred to as ‘stints’. As the car approaches its scheduled stop, the pit crew will prepare fresh tyres and all necessary equipment to ensure a smooth transition. With careful planning and execution, pit strategies can make all the difference in a race.

How do pit stops work so fast?

Gone are the days of using simple trolleys to lift cars. Today’s jacks are a marvel of engineering, with advanced features that make the lifting process faster and more efficient. With just a push of a handle, these sophisticated jacks can lift the car up at the front and back. They even have an auto-drop mechanism that shaves off precious seconds. The front jack is especially impressive, as it pivots to allow the operator to step out of harm’s way. These jacks are a testament to the power of innovation and technology in the automotive industry.

How do pit stops effect position?

During pit stops, a driver’s track position can either improve or worsen depending on the timing and execution of the stop. A well-timed pit stop can give a driver an advantage over their competitors, while a poorly timed or executed pit stop can result in a loss of valuable time and positions.

How does pitting in F1 work?

During an F1 race, a pit stop is a crucial moment where the car pulls into the pit stalls for quick maintenance, repairs, or adjustments. This is where the team can change the car’s tires, fix any mechanical issues, and perform other necessary actions to keep the car running smoothly. The pit lane runs parallel to the start/finish line and is connected to the main track, making it easily accessible for the drivers.

Khushal Bhatia
Khushal Bhatia
Khushal Bhatia, a distinguished BA (Hons) English graduate from St. Stephen College (University of Delhi) and a holder of a Post Graduate Diploma in Journalism (English) from IIMC Delhi, is an accomplished journalist. Currently affiliated with, Khushal is an expert in covering a range of sports topics with a specialization in motorsports, particularly NASCAR. His insightful articles explore the nuances of the sporting world, providing readers with comprehensive analysis and the latest updates. With a commitment to unbiased reporting, Khushal's expertise and authoritative voice make him a reliable source for sports enthusiasts.


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