If you've ever watched a NASCAR race you have probably noticed the pit stops. These pit crews can fuel up the car, change 4 tires, and make alignment adjustments in less than 15 seconds. Depending on how many tires and the amount of gas needed the average pit stop is about 12 seconds.
Pit stops weren't always fast like this though, the were more of an actual stop. In the 1950's a pit stop would take place off of the track and in the garage. The drivers would even turn the car off get out and smoke a cigarette or eat a piece of fried chicken while the crew did the necessary repairs. The pit crew was not very fast though. They took their time changing the tires and servicing the cars. By the time the cars got back on the track they were several laps down.
This all came to an end when the Wood Brothers Racing team came along and invented the modern pit stop. The Wood brothers realized that by limiting their time in the garage they won more races and finished better in the races that they didn't win. Other teams caught on and decided to start mirroring their actions. The Wood Brothers Racing team was not content with being innovators though. They practiced and perfected the pit stop as a form of acrobatic, mechanical, ballet which gave them a leg up on the competition.
It took a while for the pit stops to become as fast as they are today. Lot's of practice and technological advances have helped speed up these stops. Some of these advances are the lighter jacks and fuel cans with a built in vent system. I feel like the pit stops are at peak performance right now, but you never know when they're going to pull a fast one and change it all up on us. The Wood Brothers Racing team caught everybody by surprise with their pit stops and I'm curious to see what's next in the NASCAR pit stops.
XOXO @hellsbelle 🖤