Kerr: Pit stops in Texas
Apr 20, 2012
They say things are bigger in Texas, and they were right with regard to our points accumulation. We finished seventh this week with good solid pit stops that contained a plethora of adjustments. Performing so many adjustments usually costs extra time on pit road, but we managed to hold our own without losing too many positions. On our first stop, I did my best “Three Stooges” impression by going tail over tea kettle when I slid on the painted line that marks our pit box and cost our team an extra second. A second doesn’t seem like a lot of time on the daily clock, but during a pit stop it’s an eternity when good and bad are separated by tenths and hundredths of a second.
The rest of our pit stops included wedge and track bar adjustments to change the balance of the car. We also inserted a spring rubber in the right rear spring to add more tension and help the car’s weight distribution. You might ask why we are doing so many adjustments to the car. The answer is the track changes as rubber builds up and the track temperature cools down.
Another factor that came in to play this week was the wind. Wind gusts were upward of 40 mph on Sunday, and I heard a few drivers say that it played havoc on their car during the race. We have a sign extending from our pit box that marks our pit stall for the driver so he can enter his pit stall more aggressively. This sign had to be removed because the high wind had the potential to break it. The pole that holds the sign is made from fiberglass that can easily sheer under stress and add more danger to an already dangerous situation.
This week we are headed back to the Midwest state of Kansas. Kansas Speedway is a mile-and-a-half tri-oval with 15 degrees of banking in the corners and 10.4 degrees on the front stretch. Kasey has shown a lot of speed at this type of intermediate track, and we’re all excited to go into the weekend with some momentum from Texas.