GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) As Gatornationals continues, many people focus on the drivers themselves but it's the behind the scene pit crews who are the engine which keeps each crew running. Here's a little look into the life and job of a Gatornationals pit crew.
Every time a car goes screaming down the track immediately afterward is when the real work begins.
Kaylynn Simmons is one of only 3 women pit crew members and is a clutch specialist, she explained what happens to a car after every run.
"It's actually a full re-build actually. When we back the car in after a run we tear it down to a bare block, crank, and camshaft. The clutch, everything comes out of it, the rotating assembly. We put all brand new parts in it to run again, so it takes about 45 minutes for us to do that on a really quick day."
Tim Fabrisi is the car chief for the John Force Racing team, he said. "It's basically choreographed controlled chaos everyone knows their place and their job so I know when I take a step to the left there's a person passing me on the right, it's very choreographed. It has to be that way because of the limited time, sometimes we only have 50 minutes to take the car apart, rebuild it, start it and then race again."
And crews have to keep hundreds of factors in mind even the weather explained Simmons.
"When it was hot like yesterday the track prep is a little gooey so you're looking at going out there and running a little bit slower or your not going to have traction. That means you de-tune the motor and you de-tune the clutch so that the power you're distributing through the clutch actually gets to the tires and gets to the track and you don't just smoke the tires. On a day like today, it's a little cooler, we're going to be able to put some more power in it, apply it to those tires and hopefully stick and get it down the track in a quicker run."
An average team has 8 people working on a car at one time each with their own specific job all in hopes their car is a hundredth of a second faster than the other one.
Simmons said, "if you watch NASCAR they do 14-second pit stops and they go in with the guns and run around. we run around like that for around 45 minutes so you definitely have to perfect repetition."
Fabrisi added, "we pour our lives in these cars working 15 hour days behind the scenes that nobody knows about they only see the 4-second run. But we put countless hours, 100 hour weekends some weekends so we really enjoy winning."
For the championship runs on Sunday, crews will only have 45 minutes to re-build their cars, unlike qualifying races which they usually have an hour.