In the new age of NASCAR, multi-car teams rule. NASCAR mandated a few years back that one owner could only have four teams, and soon, almost every big time car owner will be there. Only Hendrick, Childress, Roush, and DEI have that many teams now, but within a year or two many others will follow. Owners with multiple race teams under one roof do it to make all the teams better. It allows extra cars to take part in tests and gather more data, drivers who can work together not only on the track but off, and more engineers and crew chiefs to figure these racecars out.
Its no wonder why the last few years have been dominated by teams like Roush, Gibbs, and Hendrick. They are multi-car teams that have very good communication and cooperation between the teams. That chemistry is very important to making the multi-car team model work.
From my vantage point, I know of a few Cup teams that struggle mightily with this chemistry, and one in particular. And I’m not talking about small organizations. When you have crew chiefs that don’t work together, rivalry and bitterness between teams, and an overall lack of teamwork, you aren’t going to win. This total lack of any sort of chemistry becomes a cancer that disables your race team.
When your teams end up working on their own and not sharing anything, its almost like your multi-car team has become several single car teams. Ask Robby Gordon or BAM Racing how difficult it is being a single car team. You end up losing any advantages of having many teams in the same shop. And I think to some extent, the only way to rectify the problem is start weeding out those individuals causing the problems and start bringing in people that want to work hard, win, and be a team player. You can’t force two people who don’t get along to work together, sort of like you can’t mix oil and water.
The ability to put together the right mix of people is something that all great owners possess. Joe Gibbs Racing is a perfect example. Joe Gibbs won several Super Bowls as an NFL coach, and has now won a few championships as a car owner. And its not a coincidence. He and his management know how to bring in the right people to get the job done.
In order to win in any of NASCAR’s top three series these days you need to have a couple of things: horsepower, good equipment, a great driver, the right people, and chemistry.