TaxSlayer went behind the scenes at Friday night’s Xfinity series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Before the green flag dropped to signal the start of racing, we caught an inside look at the garage area, haulers, drivers meeting and pit road.
The fast-paced, pre-race action included a unique vantage point for either the NASCAR novice or the avid race fan accustomed to a view from the grandstands. Here’s a glimpse of TaxSlayer’s inside look before the green flag.
The NASCAR Xfinity Series garage bays were quiet – relatively speaking for a race track – while drivers made their final qualifying laps.
Here come the cars! Crews roll cars from the track to the garage bays. They have normally been cleared in a pre-race inspection and crews can’t make major changes to the cars prior to the race. This is the No. 7 Chevrolet Camaro for JR Motorsports driver Regan Smith.
Near the garage bays, NASCAR haulers are lined up side-by-side. Haulers are like race shops built onto an 18-wheeler tractor trailer. Smith’s massive hauler includes everything from storage bins for tools to compartments for crew gear to a tiny kitchen area.
Getting closer to the green flag, drivers and crew chiefs attend a pre-race meeting in a building located in the infield. The meeting was quick with an introduction of special guests, a review of race rules and a prayer.
Then, drivers head to the track and are introduced before getting behind the wheel. Fans get ready for the action, which means using earplugs to muffle the engine noise!
The crew is ready at pit road, or the stretch where drivers slow down and come to a stop for tire changes, refueling and other car adjustments. Each crew has a large portable toolbox that unfolds for easy access to equipment, computers and even seats. New tires are lined up nearby, ready for Smith’s crew to change them in a flash.
The green flag drops and it’s all action! Smith’s crew sits atop the pit box analyzing the race from computer screens and communicating with their driver via headsets.
Smith finished in fifth place at the Drive for the Cure 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Way to go!