Stanley invited us out to the Dickies 500 at the Texas Motor Speedway this past weekend, and since we rarely turn down an excuse to check out a major auto event, we accepted. We had a fun time, and Stanley arranged a few pit tours that we also graciously accepted.
Upon seeing the cars close up, one thing struck us immediately: the wing riding out back. We both grew up secure in the knowledge that stock cars have spoilers, not wings. So to actually see wings bolted prominently to the rear made us feel like dinosaurs.
The pit tour yielded some interesting info about how the crew gets things done. Ever wonder how they secure five lug nuts so damn fast? The correct answer: They glue them to the rim with a tacky adhesive that gives way and stretches when the force of an air gun is applied. The pit crew told us that you wouldn’t want to do that on a long-term basis, but since the tires are only going to be mounted to the car for 30 minutes at the longest, it’s not a big deal.
After the wheels come off the car, the crew uses a drill with a wire brush and a stud in the center to pop into the lug holes and clean the rim’s surface of any glue. It seems to work well.
The cars run on super-high-octane fuel to keep them going, but the pit crews need a little octane boost as well. In almost every pit we found a few empty cans of Red Bull lying about, and the guys who weren’t actively drinking had some at their feet.
Our favorite pit moment was seeing the pirate flag on the Jack Daniels tower. Now that’s style.
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