The #21 Motorcraft Racing pit crew and U.S. Air Force Maintainers set to switch jobs for an afternoon.
The #21 Motorcraft Racing Ford Taurus will feature the U.S. Air Force "Bomber" paint scheme at Dover International Raceway for the American MBNA 400. The weekend program with the Air Force will begin at Dover Air Force Base on Thursday when Wood Brothers Racing pit crew members switch jobs with C-5 crew members. The Motorcraft crew will demonstrate a pit stop and C-5 maintainers will demonstrate a "pit stop" on the huge aircraft for the "car" guys. Then members of each crew will trade positions.
Wood Brothers Racing co-owner Eddie Wood describes the program: "We're going to do a hot pit stop with the gas being simulated because we can't have real fuel out on the flight line. Then we will simulate fueling on the C-5, clean the windshield on the C-5, plus change one of those big tires on the C-5. Our guys will swap roles with the maintainers from the Air Force.
"The car we will use at the base for the pit stop will be our back-up car for Dover with the Air Force paint scheme on it - the Bomber Car."
Mike "Andretti" Smith, front tire changer on the Motorcraft Racing Ford Taurus shares his thoughts on the program: "I'm real anxious to see what they are going to show us. It's going to be pretty cool to go back to the base and get to change tires on one of the most awesome planes that's ever been made. It will be great to see all the guys. I know they are all pretty pumped up right now because they don't know what they are going to do in a few weeks, but it will be fun."
DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA HOW TO CHANGE TIRES ON A C-5? "I don't have a clue. Somebody said they use a hydraulic jack and somebody said they use a big torque wrench, but I don't know. I don't think Tony [Martin] is going to be able to jack it up in one pump, but its going to be cool. It's going to be good. Everybody that is on the team is going to participate. It's going to be big I think."
"We went up there (Dover Air Force Base) during the spring race at Dover in 2001. Eddie and I and Len 'flew' a C-5A (simulator) to Alaska. It was pretty awesome. In the simulator you could change views. We went from flying around the Dover race track at 75 degrees to landing in Alaska in 12 below zero weather with two foot of snow on the runway."
CAN YOU COMPARE FLYING THE SIMULATOR TO ANY OTHER EXPERIENCE YOU'VE EVERY HAD? "No. It was really one of the highlights of my life to get to go do something like that. To see and work with people that actually go out and fight to save the country and be able to talk to people like that - that was pretty cool."
YOU ARE GOING TO WEAR A DIFFERENT UNIFORM IN THE PITS THIS WEEKEND? "Yes, we're going to wear U.S. Air Force flight suits just like the pilots have. And they are going to wear our uniforms at the race track."