In the last few years, NASCAR has become the most-watched motorsport in America. With its fast automobiles to its lightning-fast pit stop. All the factors add to the popularity of NASCAR. It’s not only the NASCAR driver who rides the car to the finishing line, but its Pit Crew plays an equally important role in maintaining the car’s full potential. That’s the reason NASCAR pays Pit Crew members with equally rewarding salaries.
NASCAR Pit Crew is responsible for filling the fuel tank, changing tires, and changing the suspension, all in few seconds. They get paid as per their role and the amount of work they performed on the race day. The earlier positions like the mechanic get a salary between $45,000-$65,000. But after gaining experience and after being recruited in a pit crew, you can make more than $1,00,000.
Let’s understand the role and salary of NASCAR Pit Crew Members.
What is a Pit Crew?
A Pit Crew is a group of specialists who ensures the proper functioning of the racecar during the race. Each pit crew member handles different roles, and together they perform procedures for the perfect functioning of a racecar. All their work is done with precision and at a fast speed to win the race.
The average stay at a NASCAR pit station is between 10-16 seconds, and pit crew members ensure that the racecar receives complete service in this short span.
What is the role of the NASCAR Pit Crew?
Looking from afar, the job of Nascar pit crew members looks like the work of robots as they change the gear and make repairs at lightning speed. But, we often forget the value of pit stops and only consider the work of the driver.
Like, any other sport the winning and losing depend on the contribution of the whole team. The pit crew is the most precious part of every motorsport. These 10-15 seconds act like another race is going on in-between the actual race.
Every crew member performs their work with precision and at record timings. Even a few minutes delay can slow the driver and can become the reason behind the loss. To understand it better, you need to know the role of the members of the NASCAR pit crew.
Nascar pit crew works at lightning speed because of the proper functioning of different members. Every NASCAR Pit Crew consists of the following crew member:-
There are two tire changers assigned to remove and tighten the lug nuts of the tires. One tire changer changes the rear tires while another works on the front tires. They use an air gun to tighten the nuts for perfect and speedy results. Unlike other race cars, NASCAR wheels have five nuts, and the Jackman has to ensure that all the lug nuts are tight, or they can face a penalty.
Tire Carriers have to carry new tires to the pit wall and remove & install the new tires. They are responsible for changing the front tires. First, they remove the old tires and carry them to the pit wall, where other team members stand ready with the new tires. Tire carriers take the new tires and install both the front tires. Along with that, they have to remove front fenders in case of damage.
Crew Chief is the most important person of the Pit Crew. They are responsible for operating the working of the crew members and formulate pit strategy. They decide the ways to fasten the speed of the pit crew and achieve the first position.
Crew Chief has to make plans with the race engineers, supervise the working of pit crew members, check the fabrication of new race cars and ensure execution of the pit crew strategy.
The Car Chief is the main person to make schedules and do everyday preparations at the shop before race weekend. This person is responsible for managing day-to-day operations before the race. It includes the working of the crew members, ensuring that the car meets the NASCAR necessities, and make changes as per the chief crew or car engineers’ request to the racecar. Car Chief can act as Crew Chief on race day when the crew chief is not present.
A jackman is a person assigned to carry and use 22 ponds of a floor jack. This person has to raise both the side of the car to remove tires. Since the rear tire carrier doesn’t function anymore, the Jackman performs the duty of removing and reinstalling the rear tires. When the pit stop works complete, the Jackman lowers the car and signals the driver to leave the pit stop.
Gas Man is assigned the task of filling fuel to the car tank. They are not allowed to perform any other work, but they may assist with taking out the old tires if the racecar doesn’t need fueling.
The work of the utility man starts at the second half of the race. They have to carry drinking water to the driver, clean the windshield and provide other necessities. Apart from that, they are not allowed to make any adjustments to the car.
Other than that, NASCAR used to have an additional member in the role of Catch Can Man. They were supposed to carry cans to collect any excess fuel spills during pit stops. In 2011, NASCAR discarded this role because of safety concerns. Catch Can Man was more prone to catch fire during excessive fuel leaks.
Every pit crew member has to perform their work as per the regulations of NASCAR. Any delay or fault leads to a heavy penalty.
What is the Salary of NASCAR Pit Crew Members?
NASCAR is the most-watched motorsport in the USA. Any automobile lover considers themselves lucky to be associated with NASCAR. It’s not only limited to the Jobs of a NASCAR driver. The jobs of NASCAR pit crew members are equally in demand.
NASCAR’s Pit Crew staff is one of the main parts of its racing team. They are the ones responsible for checking any mechanical fault at a record speed. Like, NASCAR drivers, NASCAR Crew Members are paid good salaries.
NASCAR Pit Crew Members’ salaries vary as per their role, knowledge, training, skills, and education.
If you have acquired the knowledge, required skills and finally got a job with a Nascar team. There is a greater chance that you get the job of mechanics. This job is not as stressful as other actual pit crew positions and train you for the pit crew jobs.
As a rookie mechanic, you will get a salary of around $45,000-$65,000 per year. Once you acquire enough knowledge and experience with the team, you can get a base salary of $1, 00,000 per year.
Coming to the actual NASCAR Pit Crew Members’, they get paid as per their precise and quick work during racing day. It is a physically demanding job and requires you to be athletic to get good pay.
The average salary of a pit crew member is around $1,50,000 per year. The actual amount varies as per the role performed on the race weekend.
Let’s see the salary of various NASCAR Pit Crew Members:-
Crew Chief plays a pivotal role in preparing and formulating the pit stop strategy. NASCAR Crew Chief gets a salary of around $200,000 to $1 million a year. Their salary can vary as per their team performance.
Tires play a crucial role in NASCAR racing, and so are the role of the tire changers. It is their responsibility to replace old tires with new one and avoid any problem during the race. For this role, NASCAR gives them a salary of around $80,000 per year.
A Jackman performs various roles on a racing day. From carrying a jack, raising both the sides of the car to changing rear tires, and signaling the driver for leaving the pit. For all the work, they get an average salary of $3,000 per race. That adds to the annual income of $3,00,000.
The gasman has to fill the car fuel tank as per race laps. They get a payment of around $1,500 per race and get a salary of $250,000 per year (from the races).
The role of a spotter is like an instructor. He maintains communication with the driver and alerts him in case of any incidents. Spotter keeps a watch on the track from the top stand. They get a pay of around $2,500 per race.
|Pit Crew Members
|Front Tire Changer
|Front Tire Carrier
|Rear Tire Changer
|Rear Tire Carrier
How to become a Nascar Pit Crew Member?
The job of the pit crew is for quick and active individuals. You have to make immediate repairs, check for any issues, and fix the problem in 10-15 seconds. Any mistake can ruin the game or even cost the life of the car racer. If you want to become a pit crew member, you need to possess few skills, get the knowledge and training to become one of the five members.
Get Automotive Knowledge
You can’t join the pit crew team because you like cars or want to see the race. To apply to the position of Nascar Pit Crew, you need to have automotive knowledge. You can initially start with training under the local automobile shop and later get admission in automotive repairs courses offered by government colleges.
It doesn’t matter where you start. Give your best and take advantage of every opportunity. Learn about every little piece or part of the car, how it functions, and how to repair it. Also, you can get a certification from an auto repair school which provides good knowledge about automobiles.
Institutions design these courses to give complete knowledge about every piece of car and its functioning. It will eventually help you to choose the role you want and help others if they miss something.
Get Pit Crew Training
To work as a professional for NASCAR, you can take admission for Pit Crew Training. Many schools offer hands-on training courses to train passionate individuals. Some of the institutions are:-
Universal Technical Institute
It is an official Nascar Technical Institute and offers exclusive education for Nascar. The exclusive NASCAR Technician Training Program will train individuals in 15 weeks about everything related to cars. It includes engines fabrication, welding to pit crew essentials (what goes into pit boxes), and aerodynamics. You can learn all these from Nascar tech experts.
Hedgecock Racing Academy
Hedgecock Racing Academy is another best option for getting recruited by Nascar as a pit crew member. It offers an accelerated nine-week hands-on fabrication certification course designed to train you for fast-paced working and educate you to build cars from scratch. It covers sheet metal fabrication, welding, bending rollbars & tubing notchers, making metal sheets & aluminum panels, and frame jigs & suspension.
Performance Instruction and Training
It offers a basic Pit Crew U (PCU) 8 weeks course to train individuals for getting employment in the motorsports industry. They teach you the basics of pit stop functioning, equipment selection and maintenance, skill development, position responsibilities, and race day preparation. After completing this course, you can take the 5 Off 5 On Race Team Performance program for getting recruited as an over-the-wall member.
Being a member of the Nascar Pit Crew is not an easy job. You need to stay on your toes for at least 10 hours and maintain your focus on every task. Even a minor mistake can cost your career and even a match. It’s better to be physically and mentally active to handle a face-paced environment and outdoor conditions.
Before becoming a Pit Crew member, you need to get athletic. Prepare a daily workout and diet schedule. Include the exercises as per your roles in the crew and work on your strength accordingly.
Work hard to get your way up
Becoming a Nascar Pit Crew member is a difficult task. Even after training and education. You may not get your desired position in a Nascar Pit Crew. Many Pit Crew members first start as mechanics and work hard to get into supervisor positions. Getting your favorite role in this career depends on your experience, hard work, and connections made through networking.
Choose the Right Locations
Locations play a crucial position in your career as a Pit Crew member. To work in a Nascar Pit Crew, you have to shift to Charlotte, North Carolina. Most of their teams are in North Carolina. So maybe you will get a chance. You may start at the bottom and, had to work hard to get in the crew of the major teams.
Due to the competition, you have to work hard to master your skills and put hard work to get into a good position. Start by working with the small teams to get trained and start making connections during your training days.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: What does a Nascar Pit Crew Member do?
NASCAR Pit Crew Member has to perform different roles to ensure the proper functioning of a racecar. Five Pit Crew members work at a pit stop wall during the racing day. They have to raise the car with Jack, replace tires, fill fuel tanks and provide drinking water to the driver. Crew members perform all these tasks within 10-16 seconds with proper precision.
Q: How many Pit Crew Members are allowed in the NASCAR wall?
Every NASCAR pit crew consists of eight members who perform various roles. But only five members are allowed to stay at the wall during a pit stop.
Q: What is the demand for Pit Crew Members?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics 2016 projections, the employment in pit crew will rise between 2016 and 2026.
It is a high-paying job, but the competition for this work is high. It’s hard to become one of the five members of the NASCAR Pit Crew. But, if you have passion, knowledge, and connection, you can get into this job.
Q: What is the average salary of Nascar Pit Crew?
NASCAR Pit Crew Salary varies as per the role, knowledge, training, skills, and education of crew members. The average salary of NASCAR Pit Crew is around $1,50,000 per year.
Thus we learned about the Nascar Pit Crew Salary and all about it. NASCAR Pit Crew is one of the most efficient crews known for their fast and precise work at pit stops. NASCAR only hires five members in its pit crew. All members need to be active and athletic to perform their job. Their hard work on match day gets paid off with a good salary. If you want to become one of those lucky NASCAR pit crew members, start your preparation now, acquire automotive knowledge, get training, sharpen skills and get a job in the NASCAR team. Remember, your hard work and activeness on race day decide the salary you will get.