CONCORD, N.C. – Performing a NASCAR Cup Series pit stop is a physically demanding job. On television, the task may appear to be a straightforward process but in reality, there is much more that goes into it. With the constant movement around a significant number of cars traveling down pit road at speeds as high as 55 miles per hour, to the pressure to perform in a competitive atmosphere to help gain your driver every little edge and spot on the track, the job is very intense.
For No. 48 Ally Racing team tire carrier Allen Stallings, the combination of competitive experience and trust in his team serve as the link that bonds the pit crew together.
A successful college football career at Greensboro College saw Stallings play quarterback for two years before shifting to defensive back for his last two years. From there, he was recruited to work as a Hendrick Motorsports pit crew member shortly after the end of his playing days in 2012. In the 10 years he has been in the industry, the Manteo, North Carolina, native has pitted a variety of different drivers such as Justin Allgaier, Kasey Kahne, Jimmie Johnson and now, Alex Bowman.
"I’m pretty familiar with everybody at Hendrick," Stallings said. "I've been on pretty much every team."
Stallings' work specifically involves carrying two tires over the wall at the beginning of the stop. By the end of it, he has mounted both right and left front tires while also staying out of oncoming traffic. In a dangerous profession, Stallings is thankful for his experienced crew full of reliable teammates: Scott Brzozowski (front-tire changer with 17 years of experience), Devin DelRicco (rear-tire changer with eight years of experience), Eric Ludwig (jackman with 12 years of experience) and Jacob Conley (fueler with 10 years of experience).
"As a pit crew in general, we all have a lot of experience," Stallings said. "This team fights for sure, which is fun to be on. You want to look to the guys on your left and right and see them fighting just as much as you are."
Last year, Bowman and the No. 48 team earned four victories with the pit crew playing pivotal roles in getting him track position that he could take advantage of to pilot the team to victory lane. Prior to the season, tragic circumstances led to Stallings' spot in Bowman's pit crew.
In November of 2020, Stallings' good friend and Hendrick Motorsports teammate William "Rowdy" Harrell was killed in a car accident. Harrell had been the tire carrier on Bowman's No. 88 team and was set to move with him to the No. 48 team for the 2021 season. With a heavy heart, it was Stallings that stepped into the role as Bowman's new tire carrier with Harrell's former team. Crew chief Greg Ives saw Stallings as "the glue" and the leader that would bond the No. 48 pit crew together.
"Personality wise, we were very similar. We were very outgoing and talked a lot," Stallings said of Harrell. "When I came in, I knew what 'Rowdy' brought to this team and I knew what this team needed to have."
Stallings came in and the team was strong on pit road. By the end of the 2021 campaign, the crew was in the top 10 for average time on four-tire stops. At Atlanta Motor Speedway's March event this season, the crew turned the fastest four-tire pit stop of the race at 11.178 seconds, according to data from Racing Insights.
Stallings and the entire No. 48 Ally Racing team will be in action again this weekend at Pocono Raceway for the 21st race of the 2022 Cup Series season. Catch this weekend's excitement as the team chases another victory at "The Tricky Triangle" following last year's success. Sunday's race begins at 3 p.m. ET and will be on USA Network, MRN Radio and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (channel 90).