Page 21 - Nitro Madness Magazine Fall 2017
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BOTTOM END:                          event. The clutch assistant will help  worked for one of the big 3 teams
              This seems to be one of the        get the clutch and components off    and he was an “Intake Manifold
            first crew jobs if you have fairly   the car after a run, get everything   Specialist.” I was confused. “You
            good mechanical skills. You will     cleaned up and organized so that     change the burst panel and O-ring
            be responsible for removing the      both clutch guys can get the clutch   between rounds?” That was before
            engine safety items, oil pan, pistons  installed and adjusted properly. The  the new style 2 piece intake that
            and rods after a run. Next step is   clutch assistant will also grind all   might require a dedicated guy to
            to check the main bearings and       the new and used discs so that they   inspect & service! More specialized
            inspect the crankshaft for cracks.   can be used to create new packs. If   jobs include people that build spare
            If all looks good, the cylinder      you want to be a clutch specialist,   racks (rods/pistons), short block
            head guys will push in a new set     then the clutch assistant spot is the   builders, cylinder head specialists
            of pistons and rods and you torque   perfect place to start.              to service the heads, supercharger
            everything back up, install the oil                                       specialists and then just general
            pan and diaper and refill the engine   CAR CHIEF:                         people for cleaning parts and
            with oil. Most bottom end guys also    After being involved in the sport   keeping everything tidy.
            build the spare short blocks that    and understanding all facets of
            are in the trailer which is a pretty   the organization, the car chief is   I tell people that are interested
            big job in itself.                   the person that oversees the crew    that working on a big team that it is
                                                 and makes sure that mechanically     kind of like looking at an iceberg.
            CLUTCH:                              everything is assembled properly.    All you see at the track is a small
              There are usually two people that   He is also the guy that will jump   portion of what they actually do.
            do this job, the clutch specialist   in and fix any Racepak computer      It’s a job that requires a lot of
            and an assistant. In my opinion,     issues or problems with the cars’    dedication and the ability to get
            this is one of the most important    clutch or fuel management. Car       along with others. It’s also at an
            jobs on the team and if you are      chiefs need to understand how        extremely quick pace at times.
            good at it, one of the highest       a car is plumbed and wired and       You will be on the road or at the
            paying crew positions. This job      be able to trouble shoot these       shop for 250+ days a year, so if you
            requires extreme precision and       areas. The Car Chief is usually      are married or in a relationship,
            organization. Setting up all the     responsible for the supercharger     it better be a strong one! It’s a
            lever heights to within a few        and ignition maintenance.            great sport to work in and you will
            thousands of an inch, making                                              make many new friends along with
            sure all the discs and facings are     These are common positions         learning about team work. It’s hard
            cut flat and to spec and the actual   that you will find on most teams.   work but can be very rewarding.
            assembly of the unit takes time      Some teams have people that are      You can earn a good living doing
            and patience. The clutch packs       even more specialized. I remember    something you love. If you are
            are usually put together before the   getting a resume from a guy that                     Continued on page 23

            Fall 2017                                 Nitro Madness Magazine                                          21
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