Body work: Teams scramble to repair Duel damage on Friday

Stewart-Haas Racing crew works to get the No. 14 Mobil 1 Chevy back in shape.

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – For the drivers that suffered damage during the Duels, it’s clean-up day in the NASCAR Sprint Cup garage at Daytona International Speedway.

Bondo, buff, repeat. Prime then re-wrap the body and push the the car through the inspection exercise again.

Chad Johnston, crew chief for the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet and Tony Stewart, began repairs immediately following the first qualifying race and worked with his team until midnight.

Stewart slid through oil dropped on the track by Casey Mears and slapped the wall coming out of Turn 4. The No. 14 Chevy sustained damage to the right front, right rear corner and door seam.

These cars are so aero sensitive...it doesn’t take much with these things to get ‘em out of control.

Chad Johnston

“These cars are so aero sensitive,” Johnston said. “It doesn’t take much with these things to get ‘em out of control.”

The crew returned at 7 a.m. and continued repairs, which Johnston, who grew up in auto body shop but holds a degree in mechanical engineering, described as “mostly cosmetic”. Clearly, as Stewart was able to recover in the race and finished fourth.

Johnston joked that there “wasn’t enough metal to continue to rework it”. Johnston added the more the team worked on the body the flimsier it would become. He received primer from Team Penske and was waiting on members from Joe Gibbs Racing who were going to help wrap the No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevy.

Johnston said the crew would forego practice on Friday and wait to shake the car down in Happy Hour.

“It’s not as much time as we would like to have but we’ll make it work,” Johnston said.

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Event Daytona 500
Sub-event Thursday Duel 1
Track Daytona International Speedway
Drivers Tony Stewart , Casey Mears
Article type Analysis
Tags stewart-haas racing