Should Five Lugnuts Be Mandatory Again?

At the beginning of the 2015 season, NASCAR relaxed the rule about all five lugnuts needing to be secured during pit stops. While there are some teams who have stayed with the rule, others are cutting corners. 
 
What's unfortunate is that the sanctioning body cannot protect or police these teams from any problems they may bring on themselves. Officials no longer go over the wall to oversee stops and if all lugs are tight. It is now the teams' decision to regulate how many are put on with no penalties issued. 
 
But, is this a good idea?
 
Sure, pit crews can now get those 11-second pit stops by not having to hit all five and save or gain track position, but at the same time, they are costing their drivers track position by not getting lugs tight enough or only putting on four or three. The driver then loses his spot on the track, especially during a green-flag pit stop, when they have to come back in for a loose wheel or a runaway tire and in some scenarios, they go a lap down. 
 
As I watched the rain-delayed Duck Commander 500 on FOX two nights ago, I couldn't believe how may loose wheel problems I was witnessing. These crews that were having issues were not using all five lugnuts. During the race broadcast, FOX even showed tire hubs that were only prepared for three or four lugnuts. Would these tire complications still have come up if a lugnut rule had been in place? Maybe but maybe not. 
 
In my opinion, NASCAR needs to go back to the mandatory five-lugnut-rule. There were too many loose-wheel incidents during the Texas race including one that involved pole-sitter, the  Joe Gibbs Racing No. 19 Toyota of Carl Edwards.  During one of their pit stops, Edwards' teammate Matt Kenseth actually left pit road with only one lugnut tightened. The No. 20 Toyota driver would have to come back in for a vibration. 
 
What is going to happen when race teams are on the Chase bubble in August? Or when they are running for a title in Homestead and the pit crew affects them with this mistake? Will teams learn from incidents like these or will it continue to be risk vs. reward in the garage? 
Katie Williams

Coming off the ranch, I didn’t have a motorsports background but my passion was and still is very strong. My first taste of NASCAR came at the age of seven while waiting for music videos to come on the old TNN network. As I grew up, I pursued other interest but eventually rediscovered cars going left when I found the SPEED channel during the 2011-2012 offseason.

I didn’t decide I wanted to pursue a career in NASCAR until the summer of 2012. I’m not a wrench head or strong enough for a pit crew so media was the next best thing. At the beginning of 2013, I started going to races and making connections within the sport. I also studied Motorsports Management at Sports Management Worldwide. Although I love what happens on the track, I’ve always been interested in what goes on behind the scenes and I’ve gotten to know many people throughout the radio, TV and digital media world.

While I’m a long time writer, 2015 was my first year actually covering the sport with www.nascarfemale.com . I also became a media correspondent for Raceline. I’ve been able to help the TV show gain recognition on social media. My current goal is to acquire more experience in covering NASCAR and move up the media ladder. Outside of motorsports, I have been an equine-sports statistician for 16 years.

I currently reside in Gillette, WY where I’m still involved with horses. I enjoy riding them, rodeo, swimming, traveling and meeting people.

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