There’s always a lot of debate about whether NASCAR drivers are actually athletes.
But I don’t think there’s any question about the pit crews.
A lot of the guys and girls that make up NASCAR pit crews are former athletes in other sports, like football or weightlifting. The pit crews train throughout the week to make sure they’re ready to go for the race, and then go out and carry 50 pound tires or 60 pound gas cans on pit road, all while changing four tires and fueling up a car in under 10 seconds.
So yeah, pit crews are definitely athletes.
Oh, and they’re also doing this while cars are pulling in and out all around them, or driving by them just yards away on the racetrack and 150+ miles per hour.
There’s no question that being a pit crew member is a dangerous job, but these guys and girls are tough as nails – as one NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series pit crew member proved during today’s race.
While the Love’s RV Stops 250 was under caution, the trucks came down pit road for tires and fuel. But as Zane Smith was pulling his #38 Love’s truck into his pit box, he locked up the brakes and ended up getting the truck sideways as the pit crew was jumping over the wall.
Meanwhile, tire carrier Charles Plank was carrying two of those 50-lb Goodyear tires as he ran to get in place on the right side of the car as he got absolutely smoked by Smith’s sliding truck.
But Plank didn’t miss a beat, getting back up and shaking it off like an absolute champ.