Is this week dragging by? Don’t worry, a holiday weekend is approaching, and with it comes Truck Series action at Kentucky, and NNS and Cup racing at Atlanta! While we wait for it to get here, we’ve got the 90th edition of ATIW for you. If you don’t know what this post is, we answer any and all reader questions every Wednesday, right here. So if you’ve got one, click on the ”Ask the Insiders” tab at the top of the page and send one to us. On to the questions…
1. From Anonymous:
Training for pit crews, how is it done? Is UTI the only show in town? By the way great articles, very well written, has given me a much better understanding of NASCAR, and I haven’t watched my first race.
The UTI campus in Mooresville, also known as NTI, doesn’t actually specialize in pit crew training. They are more about teaching guys to be mechanics. They do offer a pit crew class as a part of their program, but it is very basic. Performance Instruction & Training (PIT) in Mooresville does offer a much more comprehensive program for teaching people to go over the wall, as do a few other smaller programs. Tire changer and TV analyst DJ Copp actually runs his own small program for teaching guys and providing pit crews for example. Outside of that, some teams will have developmental pit crews they work with, or they will hand pick guys to bring in and train. The opportunity also exists for some shop employees to come out and learn. There are really several avenues for learning the skills. – T.C.
2. From Brandon:
Love the site! With the start and park drivers would NASCAR ever consider paying the purse based on laps completed? It seems if a team was only going to get 10% of the purse for running 10% of the laps it may eliminate some of the start and parking going on…
It’s certainly a novel idea. I think the big thing for NASCAR is not penalizing a team who competes every week and has bad luck but discouraging the practice of starting and parking. While this would certainly discourage the practice, as these teams wouldn’t be making much money off of this, it could also hurt a team trying to make a go of things. It’s definitely tough to find a perfect solution for this.- Journo
3. From Peter:
Sorry if this is a repeat question. Why do the gas can carriers always shake the empty can while timing down the balance of the second can?
What you are seeing when the catch can man is shaking the can is him signaling to the jackman that the car is full of fuel. When the tank is full, fuel will run out of the vent tube on the back of the car and into the catch can. Once the jackman sees the signal from the catch can man, and knows that his tire changers are finished, he will drop the jack and send his driver back to the race. – T.C.
4. From Craig:
With the NFL determined to go to an 18 game schedule, possibly pushing the Super Bowl deeper into February, do you think it will force NASCAR to change to the Daytona Speed Weeks schedule? Possibly going back to the old days when they started the season at another track before speed weeks to avoid a conflict with football?
It’s certainly possible that NASCAR would consider pushing the race back, or trying to accommodate the NFL if they pushed the post-season further into February. From the way I understand it though the NFL is just talking about taking away two pre-season games and starting the season earlier. If that happens it shouldn’t affect NASCAR’s schedule. – Journo
5. From Joe:
Have you heard anything about all of the engines NASCAR took to check for differences in horse power?
I know there weren’t any penalties associated with the check. And since we haven’t seen any more about it, we can assume NASCAR decided everything was fine. If they had found one manufacturer had a significant advantage over another, they would have made a rule change to level the playing field. – T.C.
6. From Brian:
With Petty saying this week that there will only be two cars, what was all the “exciting news” Petty, AJ, and Marcos talked about coming at each of there press conferences? What else is in store at RPM? Or is there nothing left to announce?
I’m sure what they were talking about were sponsor announcements. As far as I know they’re just going to be a two car team next season. – Journo
7. From Allen:
I’ve noticed when I attend Cup races if there was a Nationwide or Truck race the day/night before the “official” haulers are still in the infield. You know the ones with the giant Series logo’s on them, is there a reason they don’t leave with the team haulers?
As far as I know the Series haulers don’t generally return to North Carolina after races, so they aren’t in a hurry to leave the track like the teams are. They have to be at the next track early in the week, so they go straight from wherever they’re at to wherever they’re going. – Journo
8. From Michael:
“There was passion (and one middle finger), and boy was there carnage.” Who flipped the bird?
Steven Wallace to Ron Fellows. Here is the video – fast forward to 7:30. - Journo
9. From Michael in SoCal:
During Villeneuve’s last pit stop on Sunday, why was the catchcan kept in the car after the fueling was complete as they finished the four tire change?
Once the car is completely full, sometimes excess fuel will spill out of the vent tube. Keeping the catch can in until the last minute means less of that fuel ends up on the ground. Remember that it only takes one spark from a lugnut to set fuel on fire, and the less there is on pit road, the better it is for everyone involved. Also, spilled fuel is very slippery, so by not allowing spillage, it also aids in keeping the crew members on their feet during the stop. - T.C.
10. From Marcus:
Do you guys know what the state of the new Cup car is? They were really talking about it alot and lately they haven’t said a thing about it. With only 12 races left this season you would think that if they really wanted to implement it they would be designing it and getting ready to test it but all I have heard is that they would like to make changes to the current car to make it look more like the new Nationwide car. Just wondering if you guys have any more info or if you have heard anything in the garage area lately. Thanks.
Changes to the COT have certainly been discussed, but we’ve heard probably not until the 2012 season. NASCAR and the teams need enough time to properly test any proposed changes, and the teams would need time to implement these changes to their fleets. – T.C.
11. From Red Neck:
What type of coolant is used in NASCAR? Is it plain old water, anti-freeze or a mix?
Teams just use water to cool the engines. Anti-freeze is not needed because the cars are never driven in conditions that would require it. – T.C.
12. From Mike:
At the near end of the Nationwide race in Montreal, Robby Gordon ran out of fuel. Nascar told him to pull over and park (I believe the grass area in turn 2). Was that a safe move? What if his car would have been hit? Or Robby!
Absolutely. Robby got out of the car. This is actually not at all uncommon in most road course racing series. This is why they have local cautions to alert drivers of an issue in a certain part of the course – this avoids unecessary full course cautions. While NASCAR doesn’t utilize the local caution, this was not a surprising move given there were only a couple of laps left. So to answer your question, Robby was safe and the drivers were all well aware of his car’s position on the track. – Journo
And that brings yet another “Ask The Insiders Wednesday” to a close. Thanks to everyone who sent in questions. And remember, if you’d like to be a part of next week, click on the ”Ask the Insiders” tab at the top of the page and send your question in!