My experience as a honorary Joe Gibbs Racing pit crew member

first_imgEver been stranded on the side of the road with a flat tire? Can you change it yourself?How about in less than 14 seconds? Now add a vehicle that has been going 200 mph, three more tires and the pressure of playoff points on the line.MORE: NBC Sports debuts new ‘Peacock Pit Box’Sound hard?Pit crew members on any race team often face this type of enormous pressure. They can make or break a driver’s chance of winning a race off of pit road, and often may be the deciding factor of who ultimately takes the checkered flag. And I had the opportunity to discover their challenges first-hand.The No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing pit crew is one that has dominated this year. They have fueled, changed and adjusted Kyle Busch’s Toyota Camry to four wins so far this season. Those victories helped “Rowdy” claim a career-long accomplishment of winning at every track on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series circuit.I had the pleasure of spending the day with these guys and seeing exactly what goes into simply “changing a tire.” The weight of the air gun is enough to make your arms sore for hours after. Then you have to aim it at five lug nuts on the center of a wheel in a rhythm that would make a musician happy.These athletes make it look too easy. Between practice and extensive workouts every day during the week, they travel with the team before performing on the biggest stage every Sunday. Most of them have an athletic backgrounds. Many have even suited up for Division I football teams around the country.I gave it my best effort, as you can see in the video above. My skills need some work, and I doubt Kyle Busch will demand me on his team anytime soon. I did, however, get rewarded with unlimited M&M’slast_img

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