CONCORD, N.C. – Hendrick Motorsports completed its final round of the pit crew combine last week in the hopes of finding future members to add to the department.
The final minicamp continued the recruitment process that started on the field in June. The Hendrick Motorsports combine event first started in 2012. It was previously held three times a year in different locations before moving to the organization’s campus in Charlotte, North Carolina. Selected recruits were invited back to campus to complete the final tryout that will ultimately decide their spot on the roster.
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Candidates were brought to campus earlier this month to watch current teams practice and to get a feel of the environment, before two full days of activity. During that time, coaches evaluated skills and practice tests that included running pit stops in real time.
"You might have the best player, but they might not want to actually do it," Hendrick Motorsports pit crew coach Jon Carvin said. "Through that three-day period, we try to make our choices after how much room we have on our roster and that’s the next process."
During the combine, participants went through extensive strength and agility drills to test how high they can jump, how quickly they can move their feet, how well they work together and how well they listen to instruction. This second minicamp consisted of similar drills, while adding different elements to allow coaches to define what position makes the most sense for the respective athlete.
"We do our best to look at their body type and also our own guys. Our jackmen don’t look like our changers. Even a fueler doesn’t look like a changer," Carvin added. "That’s why we look at the combine first. We aren’t always right. We switch them sometimes in the middle of the minicamp or during those extra drills we do. If they’re doing it enough, we kind of know. Then if we’re a little off, we make a quick adjustment and go from there."
The recruits practiced the day-to-day operations of being a pit crew member including race-day duties. That included going through heat training and workouts, learning the choreography of pit stops, film review and setting up pit boxes.
After hiring decisions by the coaching staff are finalized, the new additions will be brought on campus to prepare for their debut with a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series team later in the 2022 season.