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Who is on a NASCAR Team Roster?

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Joshua Lipowski

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What’s Happening?

NASCAR is a team sport, and there are plenty of different roles within a NASCAR team. However, what are each role’s roles within a race team? Today, we break down all of the roles of a traveling NASCAR Cup Series team based on the 2024 Stewart-Haas Racing #4 team roster for the LA Clash.

  • A NASCAR team is split up between 3 different categories. There are the primary team members, who take many of the big-ticket positions. The over-the-wall members make up the team’s pit crew, and road crew members are some of the more specialized roles.
  • It’s also important to note that these individuals will often help out with multiple tasks throughout the weekend. If a backup car needs to get ready after a qualifying accident, everyone on the crew steps up to help out in any way they can.
  • Many die-hard fans know the ins and outs of a race team. However, these positions not always being highly publicized means that some fans do not know every position on a race team.

Primary Team Members

The primary team members are the team members who are often showcased on broadcasts. These are the leaders and the more advanced crew members who tend to help set up the race cars. The amount of this crew may vary from team to team. For example, the #4 SHR team has 6 primary team members, including 1 driver, 1 crew chief, 1 car chief, 2 engineers, and 1 spotter.

Driver

This is pretty self-explanatory. This is the steering wheel and pedal operator that transfers the car from the garage to pit road to the race track and back again.

Crew Chief

The crew chief functions similarly to the head coach. They are in charge of everyone on the crew and how the car is ultimately set up. The crew chief often communicates directly with the driver about adjustments to make the car go faster and makes decisions on pit strategy.

Car Chief

The car chief is the crew chief’s right-hand man, and crew chiefs are often car chiefs first. While the crew chief focuses on many of the big-picture decisions, the car chief is in charge of making sure the car gets the necessary work done on it. The car chief makes sure that everything is taken care of the crew chief needs to have done.

Engineer

A team engineer usually works a lot with technical data on race teams. These individuals usually consult other members of the team in terms of what to do with the race car, how to set it up, and what to do based on what was learned during practice, qualifying, and testing sessions. Some teams, such as Stewart-Haas Racing, have multiple engineers per car.

Spotter

The team spotter communicates directly with the driver more than anyone during a race. The spotter acts as the driver’s “Eye in the sky” to let them know where different cars are around him so drivers know it’s safe to make certain moves. Spotters may also point out what lines other drivers are running if their driver asks for it.

Over The Wall Team Members

Over-the-wall team members make up the pit crew that services the car during pit stops during the race. Each race team has the same amount of pit crew members in these exact same positions since the pit crew is regulated by NASCAR.

Tire Changer

Each team has two tire changers, who are responsible for changing the tires. These are the individuals with the air guns that remove the lug nuts from and secure the lug nuts to the tire on a pit stop. There is one tire changer for the front tires and one for the rear tires.

Tire Carrier

The tire carrier is responsible for carrying new tires over the pit wall to give to the tire changers and carrying the old ones back over the wall. Tire carriers also need to make sure the tires stay within the pit box so that drivers are not penalized. If a tire gets away, it’s usually because the tire carrier was unable to secure it.

Jack Man

The jack man uses a massive pneumatic jack to lift one side of the car up to change tires. While it looks very easy, lifting up a 1.5-ton car with only one pump of a jack is a serious athletic accomplishment. The jack man may also help the tire carrier get a hold of wild tires.

Fuel Man

The fuel man is responsible for fueling the race car. They use massive red and blue dump cans that put the fuel into the car, and those cans are very heavy. As a result, gas men are known for being very big and strong.

Road Crew Members

Road Crew members are some of the more specialized individuals who do much of the actual work on the car during a race weekend. They are usually not showcased during the race, but without them, nothing would get done on a race car. This is also a branch of crew members that may vary from team to team. For example, SHR’s road crew members have 2 mechanics, 1 tire specialist, 1 engine tuner, and 2 transporter drivers.

Mechanic

The mechanic is responsible for doing all of the random tasks associated with preparing a race car. From checking tire pressures to tightening nuts and bolts to doing whatever maintenance is required on a race car. When a driver or a crew chief asks for an adjustment, the mechanics are usually the ones helping to make the adjustments on a car.

Tire Specialist

The tire specialist is in charge of the tires on a race car. They help to interpret data on the tires from different sessions to make sure the race teams optimize performance. From what tire pressures they should run to how far they can push the limits on a tire, the tire specialist is responsible for keeping the team on track.

Engine Tuner

The engine tuner is in charge of the engine and makes sure it properly lasts the entire distance. The engine tuner has to find that perfect balancing act between making sure an engine makes as much power as possible, while also making sure it is durable enough. Nowadays, engines are more durable than ever.

Transporter Driver

The transporter driver is responsible for driving the big haulers from the race shop to the track and back again. The haulers are loaded up with the team’s race cars, pit boxes, equipment, and everything else the team needs. These individuals often leave for the track before anyone else on the team to ensure the equipment is there when the garage opens usually 1 or 2 days before the race. Sometimes, for long road trips, a team will bring multiple transporter drivers.

These are all of the individuals on a NASCAR road crew. A well-oiled machine for all race teams gets a car to and from a race track every weekend.

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Picture of Joshua Lipowski

Joshua Lipowski

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