As expected, NASCAR confirmed Thursday that it would adopt the the refueling system currently used in the Camping World Truck Series for its Sprint Cup and Nationwide series next year. The system, which utilizes "self-venting" dump cans, eliminates the seventh over-the-wall crewman who holds a catch can to retrieve fuel that might spill from a vent on the back of the car. It was made an option at the beginning of this year in the Truck Series.
NASCAR vp for competition Robin Pemberton said the revision is aimed at improving pit road safety, since the catch-can crew member has his back to oncoming traffic. He also noted that the switch to E-15 ethanol fuel for next season also figured into the decision.
"It better enables us to keep a control on the open container of fuel," Pemberton said. "Because with the E-15 you want to make sure you never get any moisture introduced into that, and this better helps that."
Pemberton admitted that the change could slow down pit stops, although he reckoned that teams would find ways to make the new system faster.
"It's maybe a little over a second a can slower, so it puts you at 13 or 14 seconds, maybe 15 seconds for a fuel stop, maybe," Pemberton said. "The teams will always go back in there and they'll experiment. It could be with different coatings and just to fine-tune that stuff."