NASCAR may be looking at cutting some more jobs.
According to NASCAR Insiders, NASCAR is “seriously considering” introducing a new-style fuel can that would eliminate the need for a catch-can man.
The fuel can is already being used in the Camping World Truck Series this year, and NASCAR mandated in that series that teams can only have 6 over-the-wall pit crew members, as opposed to the 7 allowed to Cup and Nationwide teams.
That has made the catch-can man a thing of the past.
Several points were brought up by the Insiders, including why the change won’t very much improve anything, and how it may affect pit stop times.
The change won’t save very much money for the teams that, with their multi-million dollar budgets, could more than afford to pay 10 catch-can guys. The few thousand dollars that the teams save will not be a huge deal. As for safety, the Insiders point out that jack-men and tire changers are in no safer position than the catch-can men.
As far as pit stop times, the Insiders points out that the catch-can men typically make the adjustments to the race cars during a pit stop, as they are the only members who don’t have to go out of the way to do so. Eliminating the position will mean longer pit stop times, as certain members of the pit crew will have to go out of their way to make adjustments.
Finally, the thing perhaps not too many people are thinking about when it comes to this decision is the loss of jobs.
Certainly, it isn’t like NASCAR is planning on cutting 15,000 jobs. So this may not seem like a big deal. But to these guys, it is. This is their job, it’s what they get paid to do. Sure, they may not make much. But it’s something. For the roughly 100 guys who are going to have their position exterminated, this really stinks.
Maybe they’ll find jobs somewhere else within their team. But if they can’t, then this is not going to be good for them at all. I don’t think NASCAR really had these guys in mind when they discussed bringing in the new fuel can.
If this is indeed the end of this position, then bye bye, catch-can guy. We hardly knew ye.