Monday, February 27, 2012

Hauler drivers face concerns after Daytona 500 delay

The unsung heroes of NASCAR teams each and every week, are about to have a very tough week ahead of them.

Every NASCAR fan care about the driver and a crew chief. It takes a special fan to pay attention to the pit crew. It takes a die-hard to care about the member in the worst shape after the Daytona 500 is finally in the books -- the hauler driver.

Depending the week and the tracks in question, a hauler driver could drive thousands of miles transporting cars to and from the track and the team facility.

This week, it's going to be even worse. After the Daytona 500 is complete, whether it's Monday night or Tuesday morning, it's going to be a long week for all of the hauler drivers.

When the race is over, the crew must pack up the car and take it back to the home-base in Mooresville, N. C., or about 504 miles away according to Google Maps. That's about an eight and a half hour drive.

After unloading all the Daytona equipment, teams must load equipment and cars for the race at Phoenix the following weekend. That can't be a quick process, I'll guess it would be about a three-hour event. So far, we are at a minimum 11 and a half hours from Daytona to ready to leave for Phoenix.

The drive from Moorseville to Phoenix International Raceway is a long one, 2,110 miles. Google Maps says it would take one day and nine hours, or 33 hours one way. That's puts us at a total of 44 and a half hours from Daytona to Phoenix not including sleep and rest stops. That's not going to be an easy trip for anybody.

"I just was looking at the schedule earlier today," Carl Edwards said. "We're not on the track till midday Friday or something.  Yeah, if we were to put this out until Tuesday, I think that would be real tough.

"But I'm sure it will be fine.  I mean, we've got guys, they can do it.  I know our Phoenix stuff is ready to go.  I think there might be an issue with some of the engines, especially with our FR-9s.  Have to ask Jack.  Doug Yates, the quantity, the amount of engines we had to have ready for these races, I'm sure they'll be running back and forth and turning things over."

That may be a simple transfer for teams as big as Roush, but the smaller teams may have issues.

Bobby Labonte of JTG Dougherty Racing is concerned for the hauler driver's safety.
"It's going to make a tough trip for the truck drivers more than anything else, leaving here, when we do leave here, to go home and make a swap," Labonte said. "How many hours will that take?  You have to make sure that you're planned well enough that your truck drivers can get there in the amount of time that's out there.  It's a long ways.  So we'll see."
The drivers have to be parked in the Phoenix infield by 5 a.m. Friday, moved from 5 p.m. Thursday, to get prepared for the weekend festivities. So if you see a NASCAR Hauler behind you this week, be sure to get out of the way and let them go. They are going to be in as much of a hurry as the NASCAR drivers will be at Daytona.

No comments:

Post a Comment