Page 19 - Nitro Madness Magazine Fall 2017
P. 19

Story by Jeff Arend
                                                   Photos by Jeff Arend and Pam Conrad
              If I had a dollar for every time   restock, so each team needs 4-6      CYLINDER HEADS:
            that I was asked how to get a        people that need to have a CDL. In     Each car has a left and right
            crew position or driving job on      addition, the support trucks that    hand cylinder head person that is
            a big show racing team, I could      tow the cars to the starting line and   responsible for everything that’s
            probably fund my own team…well,      back to the pit do not fit in the race   needed to remove the injector/
            maybe not. The truth is it may       rigs, so you if you don’t have a CDL   supercharger assembly, intake
            not be as hard as you think, so I’ll   chances are you will be driving or   manifold and cylinder heads. On a
            try and clear up a few common        riding in a support vehicle from     normal service they just swap out
            misconceptions.                      race to race. In addition to a CDL,   the complete cylinder head with the
                                                 welding or machining skills will
              First of all, for the most part,   definitely make you more desirable   header attached, remove and install
            mechanical abilities aren’t at       in the eyes of the team owner or     a new rack of pistons/rods, maybe
            the top of most big teams’ job       crew chief.                          change a sleeve or two and then set
            requirements. They are looking                                            the valve lash and hook everything
            for a person with a clean CDL          For the most part, all the jobs on   back up again. Most teams will also
            (commercial driver’s license) and    a big team are pretty specialized    service the cylinder heads when time
 STANDING ON THE GAS SINCE 1963.                 and really not that hard to
 Mickey Thompson was unstoppable. He was the first American to 400+MPH   a good work ethic. Multiple car   learn assuming you have basic   allows and check for proper valve
 at Bonneville & the manager of Lions Drag Strip. At heart, Mickey was a drag racer,   teams generally have 2-3 rigs per   mechanical skills. The bigger the   spring height and pressure, making
 now his DNA lives on in the innovative winning products we build today while we   team to transport all the parts and   sure the valves are straight and still
 continue to break records in professional drag categories.   pieces needed to race along with   team, the more people they have   lap in properly. If a cylinder head
 UNCOMPROMISED CONSTRUCTION / UNDISPUTED PERFORMANCE.  a hospitality trailer. The trucks   and the more specific the jobs are.    needs repair, it will usually need to be
            and trailers need to get to all the    Let’s look at what most teams      cleaned and stripped bare in order to
            races and then back to the shop to   have for crew positions:             be welded and machined at the shop.
            Fall 2017                                 Nitro Madness Magazine                                          19
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