DAYTONA BEACH, FL - The most critical move of a race at Daytona International Speedway this weekend might occur when the car is standing still. As any NASCAR driver, team member or fan can tell you, a pit stop can make or break a team's race effort. That's why the six guys who jump off the wall to service their team's car have to be fit and focused.
"The pit stops in the '150' races are very important - just as important as anything else," said David Gilliland, driver of the No. 38 MHP/Power Pak Pudding Ford for Front Row Motorsports. "These qualifying races determine your starting position for the Daytona 500, so every spot counts, and those spots can be gained on pit road. Our pit crew has been training and practicing hard back at the shop, but Thursday's 150 race will be the first chance this year for our tire changers, our jackman and our fuel guy to jump off the wall in a real race when it really counts."
Front Row made two significant moves in the off-season to improve their pit road performance. First, they took advantage of several other teams downsizing to add talented free agents to their over-the-wall line-up. The team also added the support of performance nutrition supplement company Maximum Human Performance (MHP).
MHP joined Front Row earlier this month for a multi-year partnership as the pit crews' sponsor. The partnership includes guidance from MHP's fitness and nutrition experts to help the crews be stronger and faster on pit road, where tenths of a second can change everything.
"The Sprint Cup Series has 43 top-level drivers - the best of the best - and it's very hard to pass cars out on the track," Gilliland continued. "But if you gain a second on pit road with a quick stop, that's just like passing five or six cars on the racetrack."
"Front Row has put together a really good group of guys on this crew - I mean, some top-level talent," said David Ragan, driver of the No. 34 Scorpion Truck Bed Liners Ford. "And it's great that MHP can come in and bring so much to the table. They're working with our coach and pit-crew guys, helping to get them in the best shape possible and help their muscles recover better and, ultimately, live a healthier life. And that should translate into faster pit stops and reliability on pit road all season long."