How Are Pit Stalls Assigned?
Once the starting grid is set through the qualification process process (a.k.a. “Knockout Qualifying”), race teams are given the opportunity to choose their pit stall spot on pit road, with their sequence of choice determined by their qualifying results. The top qualifier (the pole sitter) gets first pick, with each succeeding qualifier choosing their stall in descending order.
The choice of actually pit stall to use is often a strategic decision on the part of the Crew Chief. While most pole qualifiers opt to take the first stall (the stall closest to the entry to the racing surface), this is not always the case. For example, some take the last stall, so that they can enter it right off of the track and minimize the chance for a speeding penalty as they gear down to pit road speed.
Another factor is the array of teams pitting close to their spot, There may be situations where a team does not want to pit near another specific team, for whatever reason. Or, if there is an opening to the garage area near a given stall, a Crew Chief might select that stall to avoid having another team directly in front of (or behind) them.
There are no set rules for the selection process, other than the order of choice.