Pit Crew Plays A Major Role At Joe Gibbs Racing PHOENIX ---- SPEED, PRECISION, DEDICATION. Those are just a few of the words used when describing the MBNA Racing Team's pit crew. Seven men, together, that consistently produce 14-15 second pit...
Pit Crew Plays A Major Role At Joe Gibbs Racing
PHOENIX ---- SPEED, PRECISION, DEDICATION. Those are just a few of the words used when describing the MBNA Racing Team's pit crew. Seven men, together, that consistently produce 14-15 second pit stops for driver Mike McLaughlin. These athletic, team members are able to change four tires and add 22 gallons of fuel to the MBNA Pontiac in 14-15 seconds two to three times a race.
Under the supervision of pit crew director Curtis Markham and crew chief Tim Shutt, the MBNA over the wall gang has developed the reputation as one of the fastest teams in the NASCAR Busch Series.
That reputation hasn't come without a lot of practice and dedication to being the best. Markham puts the men through regular practice sessions combined with regular weight training under the leadership of Chip Sigmon. Sigmon also serves as the Strength and Conditioning Coach for the Charlotte Hornets.
"I would put these guys up against any pit crew in NASCAR," said crew chief Tim Shutt. "These guys have gained Mike spots on pit road all year long and helped us to win the race in Talladega. By being just a few tenths faster than the other teams we can make up positions on pit road that we may have lost on the racetrack."
Shutt, started the year changing front tires, but decided during the summer to focus his attention on the role of crew chief.
"I miss going over the wall, but sitting on top of the pit box allows me to focus on the entire race and see things from a better perspective," Shutt said.
Watch out for the MBNA Racing Pit Crew on Saturday in Phoenix, if the race is close, the pit crew could be the difference that sends Mike McLaughlin to Victory Lane for the second time this season.
Shane Westerburg, 27, front-tire changer, a native of Miami, FL has been changing tires for five seasons. Westerburg says the key to success is remaining calm and focusing on all five lug nuts.
Jeremy Williamson, 28, front-tire carrier, a native of Huntington, WV, has been a tire carrier for two seasons. Williamson goes over the wall with the sole focus on getting Mike out first.
Jeff Fender, 29, jackman, a native of Candler, NC, has been going over the wall for ten seasons now. Fender says the key to being successful is to focus on the job at hand and not get distracted.
Jay Guarneri, 31, rear-tire changer, a native of Naples, FL, has been changing tires for 13 seasons. Guarneri believes the most important aspect is to get to the right rear tire as quick as possible and then focus on removing and replacing all five lug nuts.
Troy Prince, 33, rear-tire carrier, a native of York, ME, has been carrying tires for 2 seasons. Prince is focused on making the perfect mount with the new tire, allowing Guarneri to do his job even faster.
Jim Gilbert, 43, gasman, a native of Belleville, IL, has been serving as a gasman for ten seasons. Gilbert makes sure he hits the target and stays out of the way of the rear-tire changer.
Curtis Tincher, 42, catch can man, a native of Baltimore, MD, has been a catch can man for six years. Tincher makes sure he stays mistake free and helps Gilbert with the first gas can at the right time.