NASCAR Fueling Rules

nascar fueling rules

Since NASCAR races are about three hours long, there comes a time (or a few times) when a driver needs to fill up his gas tanks. The interesting part is that he doesn’t have to do anything himself— there is a team for that, and the duration of this pit stop lasts only seconds.

Pit Crew

As individualized as NASCAR may seem, there is actually a team that is extremely important for any driver, and that is the pit crew. The pit crew consists of five members who work to refuel the car and change the tires. These few seconds may be the most important moments of any race, because this pause can make or break a driver’s chance of winning.

Even though a driver may be stopping and letting competitors pass him, it may benefit him in the long run of the race. This driver now has the ability to drive faster due to the new tires. Since this is such a crucial part of any NASCAR race, the drivers do not stop haphazardly— there is a particular plan that is put into place before each race that designates times for pitting.

Fueling Pit Stop

Although the most common maintenance tasks that are performed during a pit stop are refueling and changing of tires, there are also other duties. Some of the other tasks include cleaning out the car’s radiators, inflating tires, and wiping the windshield.

When a driver pulls over for a pit stop, the pit crew may only bring over limited supplies— two cans of gasoline, wrenches and one car jack.

One crew member is responsible for lifting the car with the jack so the tires can be changed. The tires are then carried over by a member and are typically changed by two crew members. Another member is responsible for fueling the car with the two cans of gasoline. Once the car is lowered back to the ground, that is the conclusion of the pit stop and the driver knows he is ready to leave the pit.

If the windshield or radiators need upkeep, crew members are only permitted to perform these duties during the second half of a race.

Despite what you may think, the more fuel in a car, the slower the car may actually drive. This is why drivers make multiple pit stops to refuel— because they do not want the gasoline to slow them down (which is ironic, isn’t it?).


nascar flags

The flags in a NASCAR race actually dictate when a driver may make a pit stop. If there is a green flag on display at the entrance of the pit area, it is a sign to the drivers that the pit is open. The driver must obey the pit speed limit for the entire duration of the pit stop.

Refueling Rules

  • Drivers may only refuel when the green flag is on display.
  • A pit crew is responsible for performing refueling duties.
  • Only five crew members may work on a driver’s car during a pit stop.
  • The crew member designated to refuel the car brings out two cans of gasoline per pit stop.
  • Routine maintenance updates include, but are not limited to, tire changes, windshield cleanings and refueling.
  • Drivers make multiple pit stops for refueling so that the gasoline doesn’t slow down the car.