The Tools of a NASCAR Pit Crew

Air compressors are a phenomenal multi-purpose tool. Anyone who’s changed a tire or struggled to break loose a stubborn bolt can tell you this. Compressors have been a mainstay for mechanics across the globe, but after the air compressor had become an accessible tool, one industry changed drastically: NASCAR.

If you enjoy anything about NASCAR, car racing in general or the history of the sport, you’ll want to download the PDF version of this guide for your digital library!

NASCAR, and racing, is focused heavily on speed. As races got longer, and pit stops became more frequent, the pit crews needed a solution that increased their speed as well. Of all the tools used in NASCAR racing, air compressor technology was the edge they needed to keep up.

An average driver can usually change a tire in 15–20 minutes with hand tools and a jack. A fully equipped NASCAR pit crew can change all four tires on their driver’s car in less than 20 seconds! In races like these, speed is always of the essence. A few extra seconds in the pit can mean the difference between first and second place.

How are air compressors used by pit crews? Air compressor technology in auto racing helps pit crews change all four tires in 12 seconds or less. The presence of air compressors in pit crews as reliable tools forever changed the face of racing.

The air compressor, one of many tools used by pit crews, are much more powerful than the impact wrenches you can find at your local auto supply store. A normal impact wrench works well for the everyday mechanic and may cost you $200.

An NASCAR-grade impact wrench can cost upwards of $4,500. The sockets they use to pull off the tires so quickly can run up to $1,500 a piece. Additionally, these guns take so much abuse on the track that they are often completely rebuilt after 60 or so uses!

Advanced technology in pit crews brought more than changes to their speed. Most changes are designed with the safety of the pit crew in mind. When you’re moving fast and dealing with hot car parts, it’s extremely easy to be injured.

Losing a member of the pit crew can be devastating. The rules that govern the pit crew and the races themselves have to change constantly and evolve as new automotive technology moves into the forefront — especially when safety is concerned. The newest set of rules for the 2015 racing season include some horsepower restrictions, for example, that have to be met before a car is eligible to race.

Want to know more? Click below to get a crash course on the tools used by NASCAR’s famous pit crews and the evolution of the pit crew over time. From the green light to the checkered flag, the information is gathered for you in one neat, easy-to-download, fully illustrated package.


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