CHARLOTTE - Major League Baseball has the Home Run Derby and the NBA has the dunk contest. Every All-Star Week has a preliminary contest focusing on a popular aspect of the game and NASCAR promotes the Sprint Pit Crew Challenge.
It is All-Star Week here in Charlotte and before track action can begin, we must determine who the best pit crew in NASCAR.
Denny Hamlin's team is the defending event champion and has won two consecutive Pit Crew Challenges. They defeated Jimmie Johnson's team last year by posting a time of 22.298 seconds to the 48 team's 22.714. They won the 2010 event by besting Jeff Burton's crew with a 23.132. The FedEx team is coached by the duo of Mike Lepp and Paul Alepa.
The No. 11 FedEx Toyota pit crew has to enter tonight as heavy favorites but will be challenged by some of NASCAR's best.
The most likely challenger will come from the defending Sprint Cup Series champion, No. 14 Office Depot Chevrolet pit crew who set an event record of 21.472 seconds in the quarterfinals of last year's contest. The team also took home several individual trophies last year as three crew members set new records in their individual categories.
Those pit crew members included jack man Mike Casto and gasmen Rick Pigeon and Ryan Flores. Stewart's over-the-wall pit crew is coached by Joe Piette Jr. and is hoping to add Pit Crew Champions to their ever-expanding resume.
The official rules, entry list, and more can be found after the jump!
The individual skills stations are actual pit boxes with a full size NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car. The four cars and pit boxes will be set up specifically for the front tire changer + front tire carrier, rear tire changer + rear tire carrier, jack man, gas man and second gas can man. All team members will begin simultaneously at the sound of a starter's pistol. They will hit a stop button positioned on pit wall as they leave their respective pit box, creating their individual split time.
Front Tire Changer and Front Tire Carrier Pit Box - In this box, changers and carriers will work together to simulate race-day conditions. Just like a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event, the front tire changer and carriers will start from alongside their pit wall, attacking the right side of the car first, then moving onto the left. The second tire will be pre-positioned by the carrier at the pit wall. Competitors will use their own air guns, and a time penalty will be administered for any lugs not properly installed. Tire changer must hit split timer button on exit of pit box.
Rear Tire Changer and Rear Tire Carrier Pit Box -Very similar to the Front positions, but the starting position will be just over the wall, near the left rear of the car. Tire Changer must hit split timer button on exit of pit box.
Gas Man/Second Gas Can Man Pit Box - In this box, the gas man and second gas can man will be responsible for filling a car with 18 gallons of non-flammable liquid, using two pre-loaded nine (9) gallon cans. A second gas can man is allowed to hand the second can to the gas man but not leave the established "batter's box." For this competition, the single point closed loop fueling system will not be utilized. Gas men will start with one fuel can in hand from just over the wall near left rear of the car, and will be timed through setting the second can down. If the fuel cell is not full, the competitor will receive a time penalty. The gas man must hit split timer on exit of pit box. Once the element is complete, the NASCAR Official will take the cans to be weighed.
Jack Man Pit Box - In this box, the jack man, using their own jack, must jack each side of the car high enough to lift both tires off the ground. A
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Official will signal when the tires on each side of the car are off the ground. The jack man must start from alongside pit wall and must set off both lights before hitting the split timer button and leaving the pit box.
40 Yard "Push" - As soon as each team member finishes their respective station, they can go to the center of the Time Warner Cable Arena where a special 40-yard lane is created. Each team will get to push their own 3,200 pound (with driver) race car across the finish line. Timing for this individual non-purse element will begin when the car starts to move, finishing when the nose of the racing machine crosses the electronic finish line.
Each team must provide their own car. Cars must be complete "race ready", except engines do not have to be operational. Batteries must be disconnected.
Cars must have a complete transmission and a complete rear end with axles and drive plates.
Minimum overall weight must not be less than 3,200 pounds (without driver.)
Quarter windows may be removed. Additional "push bars" or other devices to assist in pushing the car will not be permitted.
Cars must have brake rotors and calipers with pads on all four (4) wheels. Brakes must be operational.
The car must only roll with the transmission in neutral or when the clutch pedal is depressed.
Cars must be equipped with all drive line components for inspection and weigh in. Axle shafts will be removed prior to competition.
Official Entry List:
- No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge
- No. 5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet
- No. 9 Stanley Ford
- No. 11 FedEx Office Toyota
- No. 14 Office Depot-Mobile 1 Chevrolet
- No. 15 5-Hour Energy Toyota
- No. 16 3M Ford
- No. 17 Roush Fenway Racing Ford
- No. 18 M&M's Toyota
- No. 20 Home Depot-Dollar General Toyota
- No. 21 Good Sam-Camping World Ford
- No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet
- No. 27 Menard's Chevrolet
- No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet
- No. 31 CAT Chevrolet
- No. 34 MHP-Power Pak Pudding Ford
- No. 39 U.S. Army-Quicken Loans Chevrolet
- No. 48 My Lowe's Chevrolet
- No. 51 Phoenix Construction Services Chevrolet
- No. 55 Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota
- No. 56 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota
- No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet
- No. 88 National Guard-Diet Mountain Dew Chevrolet
- No. 99 Fastenal Ford
Use this post to discuss the Sprint All-Star Pit Crew Challenge. The event will not be televised live, so avoid social media if you want to avoid spoilers. The event will air live on SPEED Network beginning at 8 p.m. EST.
Please refrain from posting spoilers. Some of your fellow readers have not seen the event as of first airing. Thanks!