Crew Guys Need More Exposure

This post may end up sounding self serving, but hear me out first.  I think it’s time that NASCAR and the media partners start putting more of the spotlight on the faces behind the drivers.  If the fans knew some of the people that work in the garage, shop, and on pit road every week, I think it would make the sport more compelling.

I’m personally not much for attention, and tend to like working behind the scenes.  This blog may make you think differently about me, but one of my reasons for remaining anonymous is that I don’t necessarily want the attention.  I want to bring you into the sport, but I don’t want or need any credit for doing it.  Anyways, I digress.

Everyone knows who all the drivers are.  You know where they are from, how they came up, and what they are involved in.  The sport and the media coverage revolve around them.

Now, outside of the main players, how many crew chiefs can you name?  How about crew chiefs outside of the Cup Series?  What about pit crew guys?  Can you name the car chief for your favorite driver?  I’m betting you can’t.

Years ago, crew guys were given a little tiny piece of the spotlight.  For a brief time, pit crews were featured on trading cards, and at various times during the TV broadcasts.  But since then, the crews don’t get much air time.

With the recent advent of the pit crew helmet cam, a few names have started showing up during the broadcasts.  Guys like DJ Copp and Dennis Terry come to mind (if you don’t know, Dennis Terry is the front tire changer for Martin Truex Jr.  He has a blog over at That’s Racin that he updates regularly regarding his own experiences.  Check it out).  And while that is a good thing, I think it’s time to start featuring more people.

I believe it was NBC who used to intro pit crews at various points during the race.  That should be brought back (for all three NASCAR series).  Also, it would be cool if during the pre or post race shows each week, maybe a team or a few crew members were featured.  Maybe talk about where they are from, how they got into racing, and what they do.  The group of people that we are around from February to November is a very diverse bunch, and there are people from every part of this country and some other countries.  And they all have a story to tell.

Wouldn’t knowing that there is somebody from your town who works on Carl Edwards team make you more interested?  I know it would for me.

And this concept doesn’t have to just be the team members, as NASCAR officials could be included.

We currently have one of the best championship battles in the history of our sport brewing, and yet many headlines still continue to focus on the negatives like sponsorships and TV ratings.  Letting fans get to know the real face of our sport would only benefit it in the long run.

Let that roll around in your head, and let me know your own thoughts.

You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

18 Responses to “Crew Guys Need More Exposure”

  1. Tracey says:

    I absolutely agree! I work as part of one of the TV networks and the people behind the scenes that I meet on a regular basis have such interesting stories. Crew Chiefs, Spotters, Scorers, Coach drivers, Pit Crew…. it’s hard to find out information on them unless you know someone who knows the team. So, I’m with ya, T.C.. What now? :)

  2. Mike in Floyd Va says:

    Since the death of Benny Parsons and the Golden Benny, the crew guys have gotten far less exposure. Benny realized it was the guys who work on the cars and in the pits that get the driver on the track and can make or break a race. Unfortunately, with Benny’s passing, recognition of the crew members has fallen to the wayside. We might get some gimmick stuff like a crew cam on one crew member, but the rest of the crew is ignored. Maybe Benny’s ghost needs to go haunt the suits and remind them of who it is than can really make or break a race team.

  3. Garry says:

    you should write a movie script, a movie would help the casue ;)

    OR

    Maybe if there were crew awards or something. You should offer that idea up to mount NASCAR. You could have an MVP of each crew, and then the MVPS could go head to head.

    Maybe there could be a pit crew challenge, where crews compete against each other, make it a contest, put it in the pre show.

    I agree that the pit crews are more vital than the driver. A driver may be able to win a race, but mistakes by the crew can lose it, and that is pressure, and yes, you deserve more credit.

  4. ella says:

    I would love it. There are so many fascinating stories there. Wonder if SPEED would pick up on this? Don’t think ESPN would understand it.

  5. MICHAEL B. says:

    You know, the ones that never show up anywhere are the engineers. The guys who calculate set ups, fuel millage, etc.

    Ella is right, there are many fascinating stories here, regarding all the crew members.

  6. Kim says:

    I would be all for this! : )

    So many stories! From your blog to Nascar’s ears…this would be a great addition to pre-race shows!

  7. Jeff in SoCal says:

    Wow definitely agree 100% lol I was actually thinking about this during the race yesterday.

    It would be cool if they introduced them like the do say an offensive line in an NFL game(cause they don’t get much attention either)

    You know? when it shows a short clip of the player and he tells everyone his position and what college he went to.

    The Crew guys could tell everyone there position and hometown!

    They should at least do that for the crew with the fastest pit stop after every round.

  8. Doug in CA says:

    Absolutely! The logical place to start is with crew chiefs. They already have fairly high visibility and can probably talk more about racing than anyone, possibly including the drivers!

    I’ve always wanted to hear about a week in the life of a hauler driver, especially the week after a west coast race: follow him from the start of the race, go through packing up and leaving, time on the road, making the turnaround for the next race, etc.

    I can’t see introducing each team each week – that’s well over 200 people. And I’d rather they take 5 minutes on one pit crew than 15 seconds on each of 20 crews.

    And while it isn’t precisely on topic, I think a minute or two on a “start and park” team would be interesting. Joe Nemechek has been around for years and has won a couple of races. Why does he show up every week for 30 laps? Sounds like a story to me! Of course, NASCAR doesn’t acknowledge these teams. Poor Joe has “handling problems” every single week. Gee, too bad.

  9. Rick says:

    Good plan,Hope it works out.

  10. rain says:

    I would love to hear about the people behind the scene. Right now, the pre-race shows are pretty lame. The same interviews, the same stupid questions and the same rehearsed, coached answers. Once in a while there’s an interesting piece, but not often. I’m sure some of these people have very interesting stories about how they got in to the sport.

    It sure would beat Digger cartoons.

  11. Christopher says:

    Well I do know Tony Eury, Jr. is a crew chief in the Nationwide! Kidding.

    Seriously though, you can’t introduce every crew member- that’s like 150+ people per race!

    But, I agree with the idea of the fastest/best ones getting some attention. I mean, they *do* win and lose many races. Some days moreso than a specific driver.

  12. Neon says:

    @ 5 years ago the show NASCAR 360 aired featuring not only drivers, but family, friends and other facets of the sport. It was relatively interesting and I believe they may have followed a crew member, or two both over the race w/e the week in between.

  13. T.C. says:

    I’m not saying we should introduce every person from every team before every race. But maybe profile one or a few crews a race, or something like that…

  14. ginger says:

    I agree, T. C. They are a very important part of a race and deserve the attention and thanks from the general public. We criticize when they make mistakes, but never get a chance to thank them for their part in this sport.

  15. Amy says:

    I highly agree. Whilst I CAN name the car chiefs on two teams and a peppering of other crew members from different teams- I know nothing about them.

    The helmet cams are a start but lately- it seems that it is the same couple of people wearing them. The team members are just as important as the drivers…and I want to know more about them!

  16. Matt says:

    Check out the podcast at http://www.rowdy.com they often feature interviews with crew guys…..they just interviewed a member of the 07 team and several from the 12 car. Good stuff!!

  17. haulerdriver's wife says:

    Yes TC you are correct & not self serving…if the NFL can do it, so can NASCAR. Since I’ve been married to the hauler driver, and also worked for a team, I know how hard these guys work. To me the drivers are kind of like a QB…the pit crew the rest of the team…and yes you even have special teams…engineering, admin, etc.

    The chase presents an excellent time to spotlight each team…their crews, special teams & support staff. SPEED or somebody should get on this. These guys and gals are justly deserving of credit for their hard work.

  18. Major Fox Paws says:

    It is my observation that in this day and time each and every sportscast is about the sportscasters, their networks and associated promos and cramming as much commercial time into the broadcast as humanly possible. So where will the air time come from to spotlight someone other than a network talking head?

    But it is a grand idea that would certainly put a face on a large untold story that we the fans would love hear and see.

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