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How is the closed pit lane signalled?

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  • How is the closed pit lane signalled?

    A friend of mine observed something odd with the pit lane flagman. He waved the red flag to signal that the pits were closed. Then he saw the guy stop waving the flag and a car would go into the pits. Then he would go out later and wave the red flag again, signalling that the pits were still closed. Later the guy who went into the pits got penalized for entering the pits when they were closed. My friend seemed indignant about it, like the pit flagman was sort of randomly waving the red flag and it was causing inadvertent driver penalties.

    So was the guy just getting out of the way to be safe when the car was going in, or was he forgetting to wave the flag, or what?

    And how do they signal pit lane closed at the BY400? By radio? By flags? By lights?

    Just curious, and I'll pass the answer on to my friend.
    Barney Oldfield - AJ Foyt - Jim Clark - Dan Gurney - IMS - IMS YT - INDYCAR - INDYCAR YT

  • #2
    It is announced to the drivers via the radios and it is signalled with either a flag or a lollipop IIRC.

    The drivers were permitted to enter a closed pit to keep them from running out of gas but they were penalized for it on the restart.

    I think.
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    • #3
      It's supposed to be...

      The second the yellow comes out, the pits are closed, it's on the radio, and the guy with the red flag with the yellow cross on it waves it at the pit entrance. I believe that there's also another guy with the same flag on the backstrech, since the track is so big, that way drivers can see it to "plan" not to go into the pits that time around.

      Drivers are not allowed to go into the pits that time by, because the field hasn't "packed up" yet. If a driver goes in, he can pit, but his penalty is that he has to go to the end of the longest line at the restart If you're on the lead lap, pretty much your penalty is that you fall to the last car on the lead lap. If you're a lap down or more, usually it doesn't matter, because you're behind already anyway. If you have a flat, or are out of gas, you go in, because you'd end up losing that track position anyway. Well, lead-lap cars pit the first time by, then the next time by, all cars can pit.

      One thing I noticed about their pit rules, is that if a guy sneaks by the leader after taking the yellow, or if a pass exiting the pits happens after the blend line, they actually SORT OUT the field before they go back to green....geee...what a concept. I recall at Indy, especially the '93 race, where USAC would just give you a lap penalty, without telling you you should have gotten behind so-and-so before the green came out...perhaps one of the few NASCAR rules I agree with...


      • #4
        We noticed to via the video boards that person stop waving the flag even when it was closed or did not hold it out still. I know the 97 crew was talking to him after that telling him that 24 car went in and they were hoping they would open so they would not run out of gas. Kurt them mention if that was the 17 behind him let him him know we are on the red for gas and the spotter said he would tell Matt's spotter. They said they would mention that to the 6 car as well.


        • #5
          I think I gather what you mean Jewls. It seems to me that the pit flagman should just keep that flag out there even when a car is pitting under the red.
          Barney Oldfield - AJ Foyt - Jim Clark - Dan Gurney - IMS - IMS YT - INDYCAR - INDYCAR YT


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