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NASCAR Drive for Diversity Crew Member Development Program
Check out the NASCAR and Rev Racing program that scouts former collegiate athletes to pit for your favorite race teams.
All jacked up: How pit road jacks work
NASCAR.com's Jonathan Merryman and Chris Rice show you the efficiency of a pit -road jack, and explain how the modifications help save valuable time during pit stops.
Inside Access Miss Sprint Cup: #17 Pit Crew
Miss Sprint Cup Kim Coon follows the No. 17 crew as they compete in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Pit Crew Challenge .
Kenseth penalized after failing to pit under green
RELATED: Full race results The No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing team of Matt Kenseth was penalized when it failed to pit under green by the end of Segment 1 in Saturday night's Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway . According to the event's rules, every team was required to perform at least a two-tire pit stop under green-flag conditions within the first 50 laps. However, Kenseth's team stayed out throughout the segment with the intent to pit under green at the last possible moment. That gamble did not pay off when a Lap 46 caution flag came out after Jamie McMurray 's No. 1 Chevrolet spun in Turn 2. "We were coming that time, which would have been coming to Lap 47 and then try to get two tires and keep your track position," Kenseth said. "That was his ( crew chief Jason Ratcliff's) plan and we just caught the caution on the wrong lap." With the caution flag out, Kenseth was unable to pit under green prior to Lap 50. Kenseth was held on pit road and scored one lap down at the start of Segment 2. The sequence led to a pointed discussion between Kenseth and crew chief Jason Ratcliff over the scanner. On Lap 73, Kenseth was involved in a multi-car wreck that saw his night come to an early end with an 18th-place finish. RELATED: Stewart, Kenseth involved in wreck
Analysis: How pit crews react when a driver is livid
As long as pit crews are knocking out stops and gaining spots, things are good. When the stops go south ... so does the love. This was true last weekend at Dover when Kevin Harvick came unglued at his pit crew after losing the lead twice on pit road. Pit crew members are adults and can handle the criticism. But when was the last time a driver spun out and a crewmen came on the radio and said "just park the (expletive), you no good (expletive). If you can't keep the car straight, then we don't have time to stand here and pit it"? That never happens, nor should it, but the fact that a good pit crew has to stand there and get chewed out on the radio for a bad stop and then be expected to go out and produce a great stop the next time, well, that's just not understanding people. The pit crew that lost spots this past week in Dover is the same one that came in and helped win Harvick his first championship in 2014. He's won plenty of races with this crew and some because of this pit crew . If there is a problem with the pit crew , then handle it back at the shop. No need to vent your frustrations over a public radio and try to shame them. No one feels worse after a bad pit stop than the pit crew member who messes up. One pit coach told us, "If you don't think a pit crew guy knows when he's lost a race or put his driver in a bad spot, then you're crazy." No one is saying a driver doesn't have the right to be mad at his pit crew for a bad stop, but understanding how to handle that will go a long way with how his crew performs moving forward. For more pit crew news, go to PitTalks.com .
Joe Gibbs Racing confirms No. 18 pit crew replacement
RELATED: No. 18 team fined; two suspended The Joe Gibbs Racing No. 18 team was given a P3 penalty Wednesday regarding lug nuts and improper procedures during the last pit stop at Kansas. Included in those penalties were the suspension of crew chief Adam Stevens and front tire changer Josh Leslie. The big question on pit road is who will replace Leslie at Dover, and how that will affect the No. 18 pit crew . JGR confirmed to NASCAR.com and PitTalks that Brian Eastland will replace Leslie. Eastland was the front changer on the No. 78 of Martin Truex Jr . early in the year before being replaced by Chris Taylor. Eastland still is at JGR as a backup and should fill in nicely. The No. 18 crew was tops on pit road at Kansas and will still be very good at Dover. Yes, they will potentially have some chemistry and timing issues, but they still are a talented crew and Brian Eastland is a very good tire changer. For more pit - crew news, visit PitTalks.com .
Five to watch: Top pit crews for Sprint All-Star qualifying
Pit crew news before the All-Star Race weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
A hint into No. 4 pit stop struggles?
RELATED: Full results " Standings post-Dover Stewart-Haas Racing driver Kevin Harvick was not satisfied with the No. 4 team's pit stops during Sunday's race at Dover International Speedway , and he let the crew know over the scanner. "We need to learn how to make a (expletive) pit stop," he said at one point. "Track position means a whole lot." Harvick led 116 of the opening 120 laps, but was shuffled back during a spate of four caution flags from Lap 120 to Lap 185. Responding to a jab on Twitter, crew chief Rodney Childers hinted at a possible reason why. Or go back to what we know instead of testing different pit guns every week. Then wish in the chase we wouldn't have https://t.co/S7c7X0Mmws — Rodney Childers (@RodneyChilders4) May 17, 2016 Because Harvick won at Phoenix earlier this year, he is all but locked into the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup . Many Chase-qualified teams test different setups in order to learn for the postseason, so it would make sense for the experimentation to spill over onto pit road as well.
Part 3: Pit crew strengths and weaknesses for Chase
RELATED: Part 1 " Part 2 MORE: Meet the 16 Chase crew chiefs This is the third in a series of four pit crew analysis pieces NASCAR.com will roll out this week as we preview the 2015 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup . For more pit crew news provided by PitTalks.com come back throughout the Chase. Team Penske No. 2 Ford for Brad Keselowski Pit Coach: Trent Cherry Front Changer: Hunter Masling Front Carrier: Jeremy Ogles Jackman: Braxton Brannon Rear Changer: Dwayne Ogles Rear Carrier: Tyler Mitchell Gas Man: Nick Hensley Strength: This is the same group that pitted BK last year in the Chase and it has lots of talent. The team was part of six wins last year and one so far this year. Pitting a winning car is something this crew is used to doing. Weakness: This team has shown both signs of greatness and struggle all year. If it can improve on consistency it can be a scary team to pit against. Furniture Row Racing No. 78 Chevrolet for Martin Truex Jr . Pit Crew : 78 Pit Coach: Walt Smith Front Changer: Dave Collins Front Carrier: Craig Curione Jackman: Carey Wimbish Rear Changer: Kyle Turner Rear Carrier: Adam Mosher Gas Man: Brian Dheel Strength: They have a cool nickname: "Box-spring bandits." On a more serious note, this team is loaded with veterans and has perhaps the most experience of any crew in the Chase. Weakness: This crew has been all over the place this year. It is a good crew when things are right but keeping it right is a challenge . Earlier in the year the team made a change at rear changer but that didn't last long. A few weeks later it was back to the original crew . There's enough veteran talent that if the team can keep up with its driver, it has a chance to run deep in the Chase. Joe Gibbs Racing No. 11 Toyota for Denny Hamlin Pit Coach: Mike Lepp Front Changer: Dustin Necaise Front Carrier: Brandon Pegram Jackman: Nate Bolling Rear Changer: Mike Hicks Rear Carrier: Heath Cherry Gas Man: Caleb Hurd Strength: This crew is solid at every position and works great under pressure. There has been a lot of talk about this team over the year and rightfully so. The team was instrumental in JGR winning the All-Star race has put its driver in position to win multiple times this year. Look for this to be one of the crews to beat come Chase time. Weakness: As good as this group is there have been races where consistency has been an issue. This team gets up for the big stops better than any team out there but sometimes relies on the Money Stop. Keeping jack man Nate Bolling healthy is also a major concern. Nate is coming off a very bad injury in the offseason and is a major contributor to the success. Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates No. 1 Chevrolet for Jamie McMurray Pit Coach: Shaun Peet Front Changer: Danny Kincaid Front Carrier: Ben Fetzer Jackman: Shane Wilson Rear Changer: Kenyatta Houston Rear Carrier: Art Simmons Gas Man: Mike Metcalf Strength: This crew has been one of the best surprises of the year. It has been very good as of late and the chemistry within this group is strong. It's a group of talent that was put together this year by first-year coach Shaun Peet, and it's working. Weakness: This team has zero wins this year and hasn't found itself pitting under winning pressure for most of the year. In order to compete in the Chase the team will have to thrive under pressure situations. For more pit crew news, visit PitTalks.com
Science of a crew chief: Randolph takes unusual path to racing
Doug Randolph graduated from the University of Tennessee with a degree in Wildlife and Fisheries Biology. So it was only natural that the Morristown, Tennessee, native eventually found employment in racing. "I use it every day," Randolph said, grinning. If you think he's kidding, think again. "The definition of wildlife biology is it's a science and it's an art, manipulating habitat for animals. To me, racing is the same way," said Randolph, crew chief for driver Tyler Reddick and the No. 29 Cooper Standard Ford for Brad Keselowski Racing in NASCAR's Camping World Truck Series. "If you go into it 100 percent engineering driven, and you forget the art of it, the pumping your driver up, assessing where his head is, you might not be able to pull off the success you want. For sure, that definition plays a huge role in racing I think." Reddick is eighth in points following two straight top 10s -- a seventh-place finish at Dover and a fourth-place showing at Charlotte. Teammate Daniel Hemric is third in the standings. Randolph didn't set out to become a crew chief, but he did hope to be involved in racing in some capacity. And not just videotaping local races from the top of a press box in an effort to lure fans to the local pizza join for viewing and a meal later. Yeah, he really did that. "One of my best friends worked for Mr. Gatti's Pizza and we went around to softball games, local races and videotaped them," Randolph said. "Then we'd try to convince people at the games or races to eat at Mr. Gatti's and watch the replays. "He and I would get on top of the press box. He would video and I would sit there and drink beer, to be honest. But those were good times." Randolph has served as crew chief in all three of NASCAR's national series, winning in the NASCAR XFINITY Series with drivers Scott Riggs and Clint Bowyer , as well as the Camping World Truck Series with Ryan Blaney , Keselowski and Reddick. There were near-wins in Sprint Cup , second-place finishes at Bristol (with Jimmy Spencer) and Talladega (with Paul Menard ). But his start came with a local standout, L.D. Ottinger, a Newport, Tennessee-based driver. Randolph was on the crew in 1990 when Ottinger won an event in what is now known as the XFINITY Series at Bristol Motor Speedway . It was in that race that Michael Waltrip survived one of the most devastating crashes in NASCAR, his car exploding after striking the exposed corner of the outside wall. "Nobody will ever remember who won the race; they'll always remember the wreck," Randolph said. "L.D. wasn't the first one by the wreck, but he took everyone down pit road. And when he did, he said 'He's dead.' He said it three times. "They red-flagged the race … it was hard." Incredibly, Waltrip was not injured. The time spent working for Ottinger helped lay the foundation for what was to come. "Probably one of the best people for somebody that didn't know anything about racing to learn from," Randolph said, "because his attention to detail. I'd be putting the fender decals on and one might be just a little crooked. He'd say, 'You've got to fix that' and I'd say, 'They can't see it from the stands.' He'd say, 'Yeah but I'll be driving around the race track worried that that thing's crooked.' " Understanding professors helped Randolph complete his college education while still heading to the race tracks each weekend. Eventually, he made the decision to "do this racing gig for a year or two. "L.D.'s led into going to Junior Johnson's and, man, once you're there, how do you leave racing?," Randolph said. Johnson, an inaugural member of the NASCAR Hall of Fame and one of the sport's legendary figures, won 50 times as a driver, and nearly three times that often as an owner (132 all told). Randolph's first job as crew chief came in 2001, at Bill Davis Racing with driver Dave Blaney . Eleven years later, he helped guide Blaney's son, Ryan, to the win in a Truck Series race at Iowa. He's found a home in the series, and a home at Brad Keselowski Racing. "When you're Cup racing, that is your life," Randolph said. "You have no (other) life. I've got a wonderful wife, wonderful kids. Truck racing came for me at a point in my life when my daughter was in high school playing every sport imaginable. I missed a lot of that with my son. It was great to experience it with my daughter. … "We're very lucky here that Brad has given us an organization with a definite vision that's different. He wants to give back to the sport and he's given us the freedom to go and do it. We have a great group of guys that support each other. It's a lot of fun. If you're Cup racing and you're not one of those first five guys, you're not having any fun." But there's stress at every level of racing, and that's "what you hope for," he admitted. "You hope there is a stressful situation and you and your driver and your team can get through it better than the next guy."