CONCORD, N.C. – All four Hendrick Motorsports teams are in Fontana for the last of three consecutive West Coast races.
With #NASCARGoesWest in full swing, let’s take a look at five things that are transported to the West Coast via the Hendrick Motorsports haulers that would normally not make the travel checklist for other races.
1) Golf Clubs: Most of the crew members love to play golf. Golf clubs are packed in the haulers just in case members of the team have any free time in between the Phoenix and Fontana races.
“Some of our teammates have to stay on the West Coast in between races so this gives them something to do in their down time,” Scott Denton, backup driver for the No. 88 hauler said. “They like to go play golf together.”
2) Bicycles: Drivers aren’t the only ones that enjoy being active. Crew members like to check out the trails out west because there are so many different places to go.
“Our teammates work so much that any outlet they can find to have a little fun, they’re going to jump on it,” said Steve Hlinak, shop foreman for the Nos. 5 and 24 shop. “They see how much fun Jimmie Johnson has with biking and a lot of them caught the biking bug. There are probably 10 of them that brought bikes out there.”
3) Transmissions – Even though there are already transmissions in both the primary and backup cars, Hendrick Motorsports brings two additional transmissions on the West Coast swing. There are about 30 parts inside the case of a transmission and it takes about 15 to 20 minutes to install one into a Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet SS at the track.
“The reason we bring extra transmissions is to simply be prepared,” Hlinak said. “Tracks out west are so far away, so we just bring as many transmissions as we can fit in the hauler, just in case we need them.”
4) Oil Lines and Tanks – Oil lines and tanks vary depending on track size. Similar to transmissions, extra oil lines and tanks are brought out west and available to the teams as they prepare each race car for the next race. This equipment is used to help lubricate all moving engine parts.
5) Different Brake Packages – Because the three races that make up the West Coast swing – Las Vegas, Phoenix and Fontana – are different in size, three different brake packages are needed. For example, racing at Phoenix called for a heavier brake package than that of Las Vegas’ intermediate track. Therefore, all three brake and spindle packages, along with their brake ducts, are transported west so they can be swapped out for each race.