Monday, February 18, 2008
To Pit Or Not To Pit
Well, Dale Junior's 2008 Daytona 500 had some interesting problem's didn't. I was listening to their radio traffic and watching the race and was shocked by what I saw and heard regarding pit stops late in the race. I'll paraphrase here:
Junior: What are we doing. Someone talk to me. Are we pitting?
Eury: What do you think we should do?
Junior: your the ^%$#$*#& crew chief, you tell me!
Eury: Well, we could take two tire's and fuel, 4 tries and fuel, or fuel only or stay out.
Junior: Well what is it!
Eury: (after it was already to late) Stay out.
Well, that was planning at it's best. When asked about it, Eury said they stayed out for track position. What? He was in third place at the time. By not pitting, he went to the front, a great place not to be that late in the race. Third was the right place to be. I just couldn't believe it.
Next caution , with a chance to right that wrong, Junior was talking to his spotter (his friend T.J. Majors), about a clicking noise on the radio. When he was done I heard the following.
Junior: Are we pitting?
Eury: I was going tell you to, but you guy's were jabbering and I couldn't.
Junior: To late now.
Oh boy. It looks like there was some situational awareness issue's. I have seen several way's to correct this second issue on the message board's. The most prevalent method was to modify the current radio's or buy new one's, that would have the crew chief's radio override everyone else's.
What? A simple "no one talks to the driver during caution laps except the crew chief" rule would solve that problem.
What Junior never had at DEI after his father died, was someone to lay down the law at the Monday meeting and stop this sort of thing. He now has that in Rick Hendrick. It should be or probably was, an interesting meeting.
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