CONCORD, N.C. – In the latest episode of "On the Road," presented by Valvoline, fans will experience a race weekend through Lisa Smokstad’s eyes.
Smokstad is the lead tire specialist with Hendrick Motorsports and is part of the road crew for the No. 17 NASCAR Xfinity Series entry. She is also involved with the organization’s Garage 56 efforts.
"Tires are the foundation of any good race car," Hendrick Motorsports vice president of competition Chad Knaus says in this clip that shows Smokstad at work. "If you don’t take care of your tires, both on and off the racetrack, you are done. You are not going to win races, so you need to have someone that can not only manage the tires but can also handle the care, the data, the testing and the logistics. Otherwise, you are going to have problems on race day."
In Smokstad’s work on the No. 17 team, such as at last month’s race at Circuit of The Americas, she makes sure that all four Goodyear tires are working properly. From checking air pressures to gathering data after a run, the job provides crucial measurements used by crew chiefs to match the car’s balance with the driver’s preferences behind the wheel.
RELATED: Memories rush in for Smokstad in No. 17's return
When she is in the shop, Smokstad oversees all tires and wheels at Hendrick Motorsports. This includes putting together post-race reports depicting tire performance and assisting the current tire specialists across all teams. In the event that one of the tire specialists cannot attend a race, she will travel as a substitute.
You can watch the full episode below and here.
The 10-episode series offers an up-close look and follows a variety of team employees as they go about their jobs over a race weekend. The series will highlight the importance of those positions within the success of the team.
"When people look at Hendrick Motorsports, they see drivers and teams bringing home race wins, trophies and championships," team vice chairman Jeff Gordon said in the teaser for the series that you can watch here. "Behind all that, the unsung heroes. The people back at the shop. The army of people on the road 38 weeks a year. Those people are what make us successful."
Catch up on past episodes below.
Episode 1: March 24-Brian Walsh, trackside network engineer