Pit Stop Practice - And Damage Update... - James Clay
2/23/10

Its Tuesday, so it must be pit stop practice time... We were a little behind where we wanted to be at Daytona with our stops. The crew did an awesome job, but the driver handoff wasn't quite where we wanted it. Everything has to flow super-smoothly so that if we hit a snag, we have time for it. It is also pretty annoying/distracting to still be working on tightening belts or hooking up a helmet blower/drink tube/radio while cruising out of pit lane, so time to refine all the little procedures and program them into muscle memory.

Dave White came up to the shop, Chas (our driver helper) stayed late, we put on our coats and hoodies to make the belts more difficult, and got to work. After about 30 minutes of mostly constant swaps, we are in the game. Everything is flowing like clockwork. And who knew - getting in and out of a racecar repeatedly with full winter clothes is actually somewhat of a workout. So now fuel takes 40 sec for a full load and we are down to about 30 on a driver swap - right on!

Damage update - Turns out the #80 car took a bit of a whack at Daytona. No real surprise to anyone that saw the TV coverage, and really none to me after feeling my kidney for a few days (this is actually pretty rare with today's safety gear - even in our massive Watkins Glen wreck which is the scariest I have ever been in, I wasn't sore at all afterward). However, the extent of the damage is pretty impressive. The fuel door wasn't closing quite right and sure enough, the quarter has a wave in it now. The fuel cell cradle took a whack also and is being replaced. Most of it falls under "target of opportunity" for the next trip to the body shop - which is likely to be some time this season if I put on my fortune teller's hat. The guys in the shop are close to having everything straight and pretty again and we will be at 100% for Homestead.

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