One of the first cars I worked with in NASCAR was the Pennzoil car. It was a DEI car (Dale Earnhardt Inc.) Steve Park was the driver.
At the time of this post Joey Logano now drives the Pennzoil car.
When I was with Pennzoil, I always had a ‘Hot Pass’ for the garage area and pit road.
And I always took full advantage of it. This pic is from the garage area at Texas Motor Speedway.
I like Steve Park. He was a nice guy to work with.
Steve had a bad crash and afterwards he spoke much more slowly.
He was cleared to drive again and this was after Dale Earnhardt had died. Dale had hired Steve.
On Steve’s return, everybody was wondering how he would do.
He ended up qualifying first, on the pole. Everybody was ecstatic.
Then on the first lap, into turn 1, there was a 3 car pile up and Steve was right in the middle of it.
Dale’s wife, Theresa, now running DEI after Dale’s death, fired Steve. We were heartbroken.
Steve went on to drive trucks and was one of the only few to have won a race in the Cup, Xfinity and truck series.
I still remember some of the pit crew. Walt always helped me with my notes for the pit tours.
Joey Logano won the Cup championship in 2018 and Pennzoil couldn’t be happier about it.
Notice the E for Earnhardt?
This pic is from the Indy Brickyard 400 race.
Fill ‘er up, boys and check the tires, lol.
Teams work so hard to prepare for race day.
Everything has to be right in order to win a race.
And with all of the teams trying to win, it’s very hard to do.
These next shots are from California Speedway.
Perched and ready.
A good 4 tire pit stop is about 16 seconds.
A pit stop has been called a ‘Mechanical Ballet’.
Everybody moving with precision and diligence.
Here we see the front tire carrier putting the tire in place for the front tire changer to tighten the nuts on it.
The jack man is ready to lower the car as soon as the tire changers and gas man are ready.
And he’s off.
After a pit stop, the pit crew watches the replay to see how they did and what they could improve upon.
They don’t study too long because they have to get ready for the next pit stop.
These next photos might be why Steve got fired.
He had a lot of crashes.
The team worked hard to try and get the car back on the track for those valuable finishing points.
A car like this would never win a race, but you can run laps if you can make the minimum speed.
And those points might make the difference in how you finish at the end of the season.
That’s why you see some drivers driving a beat up car with no chance to win.
It’s all about the points.
Every team has had to go through this because there’s no predicting what will happen during a NASCAR race.
It’s funny if it’s not your driver and car.
If it is, you’re pissed, sad, upset and bummed out.
I hope you enjoyed this look at the Pennzoil car.
I also worked for Quaker State.
Not many know this, but Pennzoil and Quaker State are both oil companies that are both owned by Shell.
I miss those days, but not the weekly travel and long hours.
That completes this NASCAR 101 Course. Give yourself 3 Credits towards Graduation. Congratulations on your Quest for a Degree from The Universite de Arachnida.
To see other course requirements for your degree, see next link.
Any questions and/or comments may be directed to the following:
Dr. Spider Michaels, Phd.