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  Category: Articles » Automotive » Cars » Article

More Than Meets the Eye to NASCAR Success

By Shay Rosen

The popularity of NASCAR has skyrocketed, making it one of the most watched televised sports in the U.S. today. For fans and spectators, the thrill of watching drivers maneuver the track at speeds that often exceed 200 miles per hour offers excitement beyond compare. For those in the industry itself, the "behind the scenes" action is also fraught with victory and defeat, which makes for a thrilling ride.

Few who enjoy the sport from the outside realize just how much preparation, innovation and time is spent preparing engines, transmissions and the car bodies themselves for the long racing season. Technicians work tirelessly to adjust, refine and perfect every aspect of a car's performance while maintaining strict adherence to NASCAR regulations. Pit crews train together in order to maximize their speed and accuracy while minimizing the risk for serious injury to both themselves and the driver they will assist. All in all, their combined efforts are more likely to determine who will finish the season with the most points than anyone behind the wheel.

These are no ordinary mechanics by any standard. Most diagnostics and pit crew personnel receive specialty training at facilities designed for those interested in working within the sport. These facilities, such as the NASCAR Technical Institute run by the Universal Technical Institute in a joint partnership with NASCAR, cater to both the industry itself and those who wish to be a part of it. Additionally, most graduates undergo extensive training developed by the respective racing teams they become a part of.

For pit crew personnel in particular, the physically demanding aspects of the position require a great deal of stamina. Every active racing team on the circuit today incorporates physical conditioning as part of their training in order to increase stamina. Long periods of inactivity are intermittently infused with moments where the crew must work as a cohesive unit, and with not a moment to spare. Additionally, they must be at the ready through every lap, from the first to the last.

For those who develop and diagnose performance standards for the cars, minute adjustments and constant testing are commonplace. From the timing belt and air intake to the aerodynamics measured in wind tunnel testing, their mission is to give their car, and consequently their driver, every possible advantage. The efforts they make can mean the difference between a pole position or starting the race at a disadvantage.

So while fans of NASCAR are familiar with the victory lap and hoisting of the trophy, there is a quiet celebration among the unknown faces that comprise the racing team which spectators will likely never see. Without question, a win for the driver is also a win for the combined efforts of those who helped make a trip through victory lane possible.
About the Author
For more on Nascar pit crew training, automotive technical training or other educational resources and opportunities, visit our site at For automotive and other education news and information, visit our blog at

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