Ep. 110 | Justin Fiedler
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Row motorsports drivers Michael McDowell John Hunter Nemechek and Todd Gill and even better one lucky winner will be chosen receive race tickets to join front row at the championship race in Phoenix later this year. Hey everyone welcome to the racing riders. Podcast on your host Kelly crandall. I've got a fun conversation for you today. And you'll notice how atmosphere is when you begin listening. Justin fiedler is my guest and Justin is someone that I've gotten to know over the past year as my boyfriend. Chris Works with Justin at world racing group. Which for you. Dirt racing fans owns the world of outlaws. But just doesn't just have a day job. He's been jumping over pit wall and NASCAR for fourteen seasons now today. Justin joins the show to share what goes into being a pit crew member and his job on the number forty three car with bubba Wallace. If you've watched any of bubble Wallace's pitstops you have seen Justin fiedler changing the rear tires. This is a fun conversation because Justin shares a lot about the job. What really goes on behind pit wall when no one is watching even being face down on pit road in the Daytona five hundred and having no one notice and two stories about performing a pit stop in the middle of a fire. Just wait until you hear those. We'll also touch on what you might recognize him for when it comes to dirt racing and of course get his thoughts on the changes coming to pit road in Nascar beginning in two thousand twenty one. That of course has to do with the single lug nut and who better to weigh in than somebody who will be working with it a lot for you to enjoy today from a different perspective in the sport and I think you'll find that Justin. I had a lot of fun talking about it. Here is Justin fiedler on the racing writers. Podcast I'm going to do this before we start schism I do. It's not the best one orange mango all day Jamaica. The podcast this. This episode is going to be unofficially sponsored by NAS how that I might have to work on a deal. Do you sure you know some people hooked me up because this one over here is good for Nothin' told you NAS Lauryn Loren we'll work on enough sponsorship. So unofficially your episode. Justin is sponsored by NAS. That's fine so yes even horse power punch to we have to eat these ones if you want to. But you don't have to okay because ours. You kind of have to eat so now these pretty well you don't. I mean you can if that's your preference but it might sound a little weird Justin fiedler first off. That's an excellent name. I knew how to spell your name long before knew how to pronounce your name. I did I don't know why but it stuck with me and then I only realized how to pronounce it because I kept listening to him. I would just say Justin or and then I would try to pronounce it and I'd wait for Chris to fill in the blank. It's one of those less names that has become like people don't know my first name just fiedler and I don't know why that is but that's just what it's been my whole life and like my brother's the same way my dad is that way like we're just that's just how it is. Well that's how is now becoming with me but nobody can spell it when I can spell it. So they will. Do I get Brownie points? Yeah absolutely so now. When I talked to Chris I. I don't say Justin anymore. I say fiedler. Have you talked to fiedler coming to join? The party. Talked to and this is why he's never podcast? Because you're ruining it right now. You are on glass. No we're here at the studio at Woo. World of outlaws have a professional studio. We do well. It's professional I think is Making it more into more than what it is like. It's just some foam glued on the wall. It's more professional than me. Okay sit in my apartment with the dogs barking in the background and playing with squeaky ball. Whatever works whatever works all right Justin. Let's tell everybody I who you are who you are. But I'm GonNa let you tell everybody who you are. Okay well I I guess. Probably the reason on the show is because I changed retires for Bubba Wallace on the forty-three cartridge putting more sports. But I mean what else would you know? How much time do I have here? This is your interview man. I've been Tar Changer for this week. My fourteenth season. I've been in the cup series of thinking today but in the Cup series since twenty ten and have worked for a lot of different teams and a lot of different drivers and have had the opportunity to win races and a championship and Yeah it's been. It's been a good ride so far so just bubba this year because I believe last year you were doing some xfinity stuff. Yes so the last two years we did the eleven xfinity car for colleague for Sheron Trick Saucer Justin Haley this year. We are doing the two truck for Sheldon Creed Fulltime and then Bubbas car. There is some discussion about some xfinity stuff in the future. That's not locked down yet as far as I know and for those who may know your team forty-three teams just no known as the guys who on pit road. Yes as we were laughing at earlier. The forty-three thing like with the with the guys waving has been going on for many years and before. I was on the team I I've been on. This is my third season now. But it's something that's just tradition and when you get on the forty three it's just what you do. It's just part of the deal but like we started getting some attention for it last year. And so we were started referring to ourselves as the people's pit crew. What's the new stories came out on? We were on TV at one. Point like people started like stopping by our pillbox and telling us how cool it was that we waiver. We can all the stuff I think some people still think it's Kinda strange and kind of weird that we do it and that made me. We're like doing it jokingly but it's not joking as genuine as it can get like. Oh it's literally just just trying to kind of show sportsmanship be nice about it about sportsmanship like we're all GONNA go out and compete but at the same time stay safe. Have Fun xactly. But we're going to try and go kick your exactly so third season with the forty. Three's fourteenth overall. I saw your picture on twitter where you had said that I did not realize man that fourteen years doing this. Yes what other teams have you worked with kind of? Just give a if you want to be a brief spell it out for us of how many teams you've been doing this so my first real opportunity in the Cup series was actually with petty before towards the end of two thousand ten. I got put onto Elliott Sadler's car when he drove the Nineteenth Stanley car And then that next season that car turned into Marcus. Ambrose's nineteen so. I was on that car for a couple of years. I was at front row first season. I was at Germain with Casey mears for a couple of seasons at row multiple times doing cup and xfinity cars. And I've been a lot of places in the deal. We have right now. The the way petty works is we've a pretty close relationship with our our so words like the forty-three picker. We are petty employees. But we practice and work out and all that stuff at at are. Crc Our coaches are are coaches and that kind of thing. So we're tied in pretty tight with those guys. So and when I first came up to our CR before the twenty eighteen season actually originally signed to be a backup and then like literally two or three weeks before they got put on the forty-three in like I was actually in. Rcn employ freight think officially two weeks had signed a contract. And then I had to go back up right this resignation letter which was kind of weird and I went up there to resign. And they're like asking me for like any. Apparently giving me or key cards are unlike. I haven't been here long enough to get any of those things in here for five year for five minutes. I don't have any of that stuff. So they were like h our was like this is the easiest resignation. I've ever done because I don't have anything to give back. Yeah how does somebody get into changing tires? Salat of the stories that we hear former college athletes. That teams are recruiting so about right. So that's not your background. So how does somebody without that background? Who's not somebody that teams are necessarily looking for? How do you get into being a pit crew member and start changing tires? So I went through the pit school Mooresville and I. It's different now. Like things have changed so much in terms of like how picker guys get in. But like when I got in I went through the pit crew school and then like I would imagine. It's probably still the same but time it was an eight week program and then the come invite you back for the advanced program which they call on and so i. I did all of that stuff. And then that was kind of towards the end of two thousand six and then in two thousand seven that like picker you five. Oh Five on program like they would place you with teams but at the time I was kind of like just on the outside like they only had certain amount of deals they already had kind of established guys to put on those cars and I was going to be on the outside looking in so actually ended up leaving and going out and finding my own deals in and it was just literally a matter of networking and going and doing some Arca races in at the time hooters Pro Cup races and just trying to get experience and meet people and then I was what you did. You just hustled. And you didn't make any money in. You drove sixteen hours to to Pitta race and then drove sixteen hours back. Like that's just what we did and you do it long enough and I've been a lot of places and I've said all along like I went through the pit crew school. There were twenty five guys in my class. I'm the only one still in the sport and it's not because I was the most talented or the you know the best athlete and I just. I'm like a cockroach he just can't kill me like I. I just kept coming back so but I mean that's just what you had to do. You had to hustle and along. The way have had help from lots of people and you know my dad works in the sports. So He's you know when I've needed has helped me. And with some connections and things like that also so but when I came in you could do that. You could also your way and right now. It's very very difficult to be able to do that. Because even like back then you could still get a truck deal. You could still get an xfinity deal in you know. Kinda work your way up but like now all of those. Even the lower level deals trucks like are all controlled by the big teams. So it's like if you're not coming in with a big team it's much more difficult to break in and get noticed that it's funny listening to you talk because it's almost like you sound like a driver. Yeah absolutely deals work and who you have to know an who controls what and how it's all connected and I think that's one of the problems to now with when these kids come in as they come in with one team you know to be a pit crew member and then they they don't go the racetrack and network. They don't know anybody so then when they lose at the spot they have their out of the sport because they don't have a ROLODEX ROLODEX network. They don't have the network exactly and so it's much more difficult to get in and to stay in now. I think that it was you mentioned. Dad Works or the sports so it was that you're in with how you got to like motor sports following. Oh Yeah Yeah. Yeah like. When we were kids the the first races I ever went to the now defunct Medford speedway in Oregon was a dirt track and my dad at the time was driving a truck and would go out there and work at the race but my dad was earnhardt fan growing up and so that was you know what I knew. Was you know the black three car? And when I was in college my parents moved out to North Carolina in two thousand four. Because my dad wanted to work in the sport and when I got done with college he was working for Brennan. Gone when Brennan had his truck team in Vegas. Oh Yeah Oh yeah they were super good and it was weird because my parents moved to Charlotte so my dad could work in racing in my dad turned around and moved by himself to Vegas to work for Brennan. That was like his first real opportunity like at the time my dad was doing catch can like when they had catch can and I was like well. My Dad's gone over the wall. Like I do this so when I graduated from college. I just wasn't ready to kind of go. Do Nine to five type stuff and had a little bit of experience with pitstop type stuff. I've done an internship In College was kind of exposed me to some of that stuff and it was just something that interest me and well you know. Let's go try this and see if we can't do it on it. At the time I had heard no the amounts of money. Some of these guys are making and it was like you could go be competitive working racing and make decent money. It's like that sounds pretty good so bad deal all right. What are you remember about the first time you make it? You're on a team and the first time you go to jump over the wall I piss off first pitstop. It's your time to shine this. Is it Orca? Race Lakeland speedway. Gabby Decarlo the ninety or ca-car greatclips on it. I'd gone down. I think two weeks before to try to pit the procup race and our car didn't make the race so drove all the way to Lakeland for no reason which again at the time that was. You know that's what you did so I came back a couple of weeks later Pity the ARCA race. I had to stop in that race and like did okay like I felt pretty good adrenaline through the roof. You know barely remember what happened kind of thing but I think the starkest thing about pitting race cars early on was like I went and did the first race thought I did pretty good and then went to the second race and was horrible. And it was like Oh. This isn't like as easy as I thought it was going to be And so like it kind of takes you a while to get your feet under you and to kind of understand what it is you're actually doing. And and even now at fourteen years later I still still not quite sure what I'm doing it easier over time. Not just in terms of finding your rhythm but you mentioned adrenaline. When did it go from being nerves to adrenaline or is it still both still both a bit depending on the situation? Maybe think the thing is. Is You know now that I've been doing it for as long as I have in. The you know the kind of understanding that I have of the sport is. I know what's at stake a lot of times. It's hard to kind of put that out of your mind but like I've gotten into meditation and mindfulness different things kind of helped me along the way and staying in the moment in remembering what it is. You're doing right now. Not Worrying about what's happened in the past not worrying about what's GonNa Happen in the future so like you still get adrenaline. I've been doing it as long as I have. And they're definitely situations where it's like. Oh yeah this is kind of a big deal right here. You know. Even recently like last year we ran third at the brickyard with Bubba. That last pit stop. We come down. We're down with were you know? We're we're coming down top five and it's like can you hang with these guys because you know normally we're you know we're not running up there we don't have that type of competition And so for us to come to pit road third and leave in third. That's you know that was a good a good moment for us and it's like yeah we we do. We do belong here and we can't compete with these guys. So is that one of the best moments that you've had on pit road situations like that. Yeah well that's what you want what you want. You WanNA come down leading top five and put your driver upfront. Give them that opportunity to win And like even it doesn't even matter the series like when you have an opportunity to you know a couple of years ago Sam Hornish at Iowa race may know doing some stuff for Gibbs last stop of the day under green come in with the lead. Lead the lead and go on and win the race. That is why you do the job. That is the moment you WanNa be. And it's like big time. Players make big plays in big time games. I mean that's that's why you do it. That's why you want to be here. Who else have you been involved in winning races with? We one I know you one with. Aj last year at the royal yet. We won with Edgy. Last year at the we one walk INS Glenn back to back years with. Ambrose won Montreal Company race with Ambrose and those are memorable races. Absolute one the Boris. When Boris One amber at Montreal the Xfinity car was on that team. A David Ragan at Talladega in thirteen team. That was a good one that was that was one for the ages. I remember that one because Chris and I still laugh about it to this day. I don't know if you've heard it Mike Bagley of M. R. N. has the call of the soul. Yeah Yeah Yeah. Yeah his his tone of his voice changed to a pitch. I have never heard when David took the lead. That day was funny because they're racist rain-delayed in so when the rain started I think we were eighteenth or nineteenth and at the time like that was going to be a pretty good finish that car and it was like man. We just need to rain this thing out and go home. So we don't end up crashed and then later gets going again and we win the Dang Race. It was pretty incredible but You know I've probably one. I think you know somewhere in the neighborhood of seventeen or eighteen races across the three NASCAR series. The really kind of best season was With William Byron in the truck series in two thousand sixteen we won seven races should have won. The Championship won the owners championship. A should have won the drivers championship. That was a really fun year to get an opportunity to be a part of kind of a dominant team. That was that was a lot of fun so like a driver. You've been on both sides of it where you've had dominant seasons. You've been a part of a team. That's had a dominant season. And now you look at what you're doing these last couple of years with BUBBA. You're building team trying to find your own form of what's considered a win every weekend. What and you know. I think you know you look at this this last weekend in Vegas Run Twentieth Twenty Fifth All Day and then make a good pick all infantry sixth and like that's a good day for us that's solid and you know I think the thing to remember with our deal is. We're not a big team. We're not Hendrick. Were not penske. You're not you know one of these big deals that we don't have a ton of funding. But you know we're scrappy and true we have a fantastic road crew and we're going to jump out there we're gonNA steal some of these and has bubba gets his legs under him and has him and Baxter work together here more. You know it's like this is going to happen more often. I think what you've seen the first two weeks even at Daytona. We had. I think we hit the wall on the last lap there and still finish fifteenth. But I think this is going to be the norm now. I think we're GONNA you know you're going to see us up there and steal a few more of these. What's been your impressions than a just in the first couple of weeks because Bubba made a very interesting comment. I felt like a last week after Las Vegas about what Jerry is going to bring to the team in terms of how he's GonNa keep bubba focus. What's been your impressions just two weeks in as we talk two weeks in of what Jerry has brought to the team the attitude the dynamic not just for Bubba but for all of you guys this is Jerry's first time being a cup crew chief but this is injured for time being acre chief. I mean obviously jury is a very experienced crew chief and I think something that he has already brought to. The table is just that he's going to call a race and he's going to be like this is what we're doing. This is how we're going to do it and like that's it Bubba Bubba to death. You know. And he is incredibly passionate and BUBBAS GONNA get. He's going to get down on the race car. Like things aren't going how he wants. You know it's going to bother him and it's going to get to him. And and Jerry like Jerry is not going to be afraid to get kind of jump on Bubba and be like hey man. Let's go like you know. We started a lot of racing left like the season like this is the second week of the year. Like let's see what happens and and then even happened in Vegas like you know. Bubba was bummed out kind of about the how the car was handling. It's like then Jerry makes a pick hall at the and we finished sixth. That's like that's the kind of thing that I think bubba needs in. You know the two of them have had success together. I think you know once in a while is going to need a kick in the ass and I think that Jerry is gonna be able to be there to do that so we hear so much. I feel like drivers constantly talked. Whether it's us to media or fans will hear it on whatever interview drivers Taco Bell. I've got a great relationship with my guys. We go do this and we hung out doing this and or whatever it may be. Is that true? You're a pit crew member so is that true over. The years drivers that you worked with at there is such thing as having that relationship and everybody gets along. Are you close when you have to be close with your driver absolutely not and to be honest with you? It's different for road guys because rogue is at the track with the driver. They're out there on the weekends with those guys. There's a lot more opportunities for those guys to hang out picker guys. The jobs were located. You know we fly in. We'd everything we fly but like we don't have a lot of times. Don't have this opportunity to you know really kind of build a relationship with the driver. And I've had drivers that I've worked for didn't know my name. And like not like just one off deals but drivers right pitted for them for an entire season and they didn't have any clue I was. Bubba is not that way you know. I know there's been some talk about this but even down to like I'm not a part of it anymore. 'cause it was taken over my life but the Mario Kart right so like all of us. Have you had switches and play tomorrow current things like that but BUBBA has? We've gone and done Christmas parties in top golf all kinds of things like he. He has made that effort to know. All of us which is in my career has been kind of rare actually for for picker guys. Some do some. Don't I absolutely think to your point. Is We have to remember that there's the road crew and then there's pick exactly really like you said that pit crew. It was funny. I was explaining this to somebody at Daytona. Who's new to the sport and I were talking about the guys working in the garage as well. There's the road crew and then you've got the crew that comes in on Sunday and gets all the glory jumping over the wall very very different. So let's get back to some more stories from pit road. You have a really cool twitter account because I love when you post your or video from a helmet Cam Helmet Cam and more of that by the way I wanna do it more and like it's trying to find like interesting things to do so like Winston things happen Like with what happened at Daytona. What happened at Indy? Last year. That stuff is fun to share. I just I don't WanNa get like kind of a little bit monotonous. I think because like what we do. Obviously it it's supposed to be the same thing every time and so I feel like it's interesting for folks because it's not something that a lot of and I don't mean this disrespectfully but it's not something a lot of us. Pay attention to or get to see that side of in terms of the perspective that you are literally giving with. This is my view from pit road. And I think that's why it's interesting so you mentioned Daytona. Yes Chase Elliott. You laid it out on twitter but for folks who didn't see it and hopefully will want to go now at check it out on twitter. Take us through that story of a chase. Elliott's rogue fuel can during the Daytona five hundred. So if you WANNA five hundred like it was something that got talked about but it was like it was chases fuel can and it was Martin tricks hitting the fuel can on pit road me. Let me stop because eventually if you watch the Daytona five hundred. No Lie Justin as I'm watching live time and I'm like as they mentioned on the I think they meant on the broadcast on or somebody may have mentioned it on twitter. Oh Wow that. Got Really close to the forty-three teams and nobody noticed me. You're the only person I know on the forty three so when somebody said that I said I don't. I wonder Justin laying face down pit road. You posted it. I started laughing. Got One yes so you get into these situations on pit road where coming around cars cars are coming around you and as as you do it more and more you know you know before the situation happens. What's about to kind of you know happen in front of you. So we are coming around the nine. Were in between the nine in the forty eight. So when you're coming around a car and you have a car in a box in front of me you're all jacked up in your stall like the rear of the car is kind of pushed out on pit road your nose. Dan. It's just a mess in you kind of see how like the timing is working out with where the nine picker isn't where we are as we're going out there so. I know before you even step off the wall that when I get done off the right side I'm gonna meet chase face to face. His car is going to be coming at me as I stand up river leaving his stall. Yeah he's going to be pulling out right as I'M GONNA try to run around and we're going to need to occupy just about the same space and there are certain drivers who give you a lane and there are certain drivers who don't give you a lane and so I haven't had bad run INS with chasing the past but like that first thing you do when you stand up off the right side is worse chase. I stand up. I got a lane perfect. He's turned out enough. I can run around so I- spot shea see I've got a lane and then I I'm. I'm looking to run around the car at the very last moment. I see a red flash and Mike owner would that was and then the next thought as I'm laying face down on pit road is that was a fuel cam. So where exactly did it hit you in the foot? But it's so big and heavy that it just yeah. It was probably still half full of fuel and John who is the judge who is the fuel men on the nine. It's super easy to do. You're trying to pack these cars full of fuel you get hung just a little bit and like it's coming out of your hands. We've seen it before exact anything new but it's so so I'm assuming the the force of it and just again it's big it's heavy. It's still half full dragging. He's dragging it and try to haul ass out of his pick saw. Just just wipe me out so I was like kind of mid stride and it hit me on the top of the left foot kind of like on the top of my foot and my big toe and just I mean like just wiped me out like I mean a ton a sack of potatoes down pit road and then I'm like scrambling trying to stand back up. The bad part of it was as not only the TV not notice it. My own guys didn't even realize what happened. I come back over the wall and behind the log. As what'd you do slip on the hose? I'm like no I got taken out by a fuel can like they didn't even see it in your face down as you said on twitter face down in the Daytona five hundred zero. Nobody even noticed. So have there been other Objects ON PIT ROAD. That have caused you harm over the years Not really as being a rear changer. You're going to be in those situations where there's fuel on the ground. You'RE GONNA slip in fuel slipped on the host plenty of times you know in terms of getting hit really. It's usually front guys Jackman. That are kind of more in harm's way in terms of getting hit. I've had a few kind of close calls with some different drivers in speedway illustrated many years ago. I had a run in with Kabul Shit Richmond. Where like there was a tire kind of loose and I have pictures of it on my one of my social media account somewhere also but kyle hits the tire as same situation getting up off the right rear and like there's nowhere for me to go and it was Louis like I just had to put my hand on the hood of Kyle's car and it was like off my feet so at least if he hits me. I'm just gonNA kinda tumble so you kind of get into those situations once in a while but you know that part of it is just like you just accept that. That stuff's just going to happen once in a while and like you know pitstops. I said before like it's supposed to be the same thing every time it's it's never the same thing every time it's always something different and you just have to be prepared for that that it's you know once in a while things are going to go sideways in the more experience you have the more you can kind of see some of those things happening before they happen and then just try to react so never been hit by a car. I take it. I've never actually officially been hit by a car so I've been very lucky. Knock on wood. We talked a few minutes ago about best moments and some fun moments of being on pit road. You know those pressure packed situations. What has been though the scariest like a close call or something that either you witnessed or a part of I've been in two fires which those are probably the scariest. There was a situation at California where I think we're polling shimmer. Something that was when I was thirteen. Actually both instances both fires was on was on the thirteen with Casey mears and just little bit of fuel on the ground. Lug Nut sparks up. And you're in the middle of a fire and that one wasn't the one at California wasn't as bad. I was more of our Gasman being on fire than me being on fire and then there was another one at Darlington with Casey where same situation and I think it was even under. Green fire sparks up. I'm hitting lug nuts on the left rear and it's like the only thing I could think of was like I still have to get the lug nuts tight because it's under Green Cases GonNa Leave the stall. I can't let them leave the saul within the lug nuts on the left rear and so I actually stayed in in the kind of in the flames to get the nuts tight and then like literally as soon as I got the last one type my carrier had a hold of my fire suit and literally as hard as he could drag me out of the fire but like it didn't get burned. It wasn't like anything super crazy but like just a few moments like that. The old configuration. I was thinking about this. The other day at at Phoenix Phoenix's has pit road used to kind of be like in sections s and so there was a time where it was pitting. I'm guessing at the time it was might even have been a busch race and all got spun on pit road from the one section onto the next section and literally spun like his nose was facing me like literally spun all the way around me and it was another one of those where somebody grabs me from the rear. And kind of drags me over the pit wall to like not get hit. But there's been a few of those over the years so as you're talking about changing lug nuts or hitting lung nuts while on fire and cars are coming at you and all of these moments but then I feel like sometimes. The television doesn't do the job of pit crews justice because during green flag runs or whatever it is we get shots of pit road. And it's like Oh. These guys are sitting on the wall or eating peanut butter and Jelly sandwiches. What is really going on in between pit stops. Are you not much well? That's why I'm curious like because you mentioned meditation before. Are you doing that on pit road? Like what are you doing? What's your mindset on pit road before you go over the wall where you're sitting there inbetween runs? It's like for me personally. You know obviously don't want to speak for everybody up here but for me like you get done with a stop and it's a reset you reset your gun. You make sure your next set of tires as up on the wall. Ready to go you know. I wear a full face helmet. So make sure my helmets clean So I can see. It's gone oil and things like that all over your helmet so you know you kind of reset your equipment and then you know it's GonNa be ten or fifteen minutes before you're working again and so I try. I end up like singing to myself a lot and just a big part of it is kind of coming down off of like you kind of have that like that. Adrenalin hit and then coming. You kind of have to reset like none of your equipment but you're kind of your your body a little bit and so it's like get a drink sit back down and then just kind of get refocused on what you have to do next and a big thing too is being ready for something to happen literally at any moment and like you can get away with maybe not being as ready like if you're gonNA turn one side of pit road if you're at the turn force out of pit road the car. If something happens your driver gets a flat editor for they're going to be on top of you in a hurry and you have to be ready for that. You have to have tires up on the wall. You know you're gone. You're gloves like all of that stuff has to be ready so just because you know you might just see us sitting there like we're kind ready to pounce it at any moment and and just trying to be clear headed and not get too caught like. I try not to like really pay attention to where we're running because at the end of the day like people talk about pressure and things like that like pressure isn't a real thing because pressure doesn't change the pitstop whether you're running fortieth are in the lead lug nuts of the same tires same guns the same like nothing changes you have to kind of try and treat them all the same so that you you can be consistent and and and perform under all circumstances. What don't fans no about the job? Or what would they be surprised to learn about being a pit crew member? Is it exactly what you just said? We're ready at any moment. There's a lot more going on than maybe what you see on television and stuff like that or is it something else. The I mean. There's definitely more going on than you see on television and I think over the years you know I talked about working for a bunch of teams like I've been fired more times than I can count what we do is increase like I say cut throat because it's like it's not like that but but if you don't perform they will replace you in a in a heartbeat like. I have seen guys go do one race and like you didn't do good enough. Were funding somebody else. You know I got replaced at one point for having a couple of bad practices there is no job security whatsoever and you have to know that going in that you know it could be over tomorrow and and not you know not even maybe not even a performance thing but injuries also. I've seen guys careers and very quickly on pit road because you know again. It's a dangerous place sometimes stuff happens or if you are checking out could be over in the middle of the race at Texas in the playoffs. And he'll slap you out with Jeff Gordon. Exactly there's you know there's plenty of those cases where that's happened. I mean I've been a part of a pit crew that replaced another pit crew mid race. Really yes it is holistic WANNA share who it was rather not but but yeah like. It's just it's a terrible situation like when when they come down and say. Hey we're going put you on another car. Things are not going well over there because like you know how those guys feel and not that I've been replacement race but I've been replaced before and like I've replaced people like I. I know both sides of it and it sucks both ways. So that's the type of stuff that you obviously are not going to hear about on television and things like that but you know I think in terms of the stops themselves the pressure on you whether real or not real is is certainly there and the teams that are really good at. It may look easy. Make it look simple make automatic. It is none of those things and the guys that are able to do. That are guys that have been doing it for a long time. Groups are cohesive You know you look at Kabul's win the championship last year. Kyle has you know maybe the best picture on pit road. Lot of those guys have been working together for a long time very experienced guys. You know French. Kam-wah has was at Hendrick on the forty eight has championship rings before that same with TJ. For like I mean it's it takes a lot of work in a lot of experience to be able to do it and make it look easy you mention pit practice. Yes is pit. Practice is straightforward as we all would imagine you just start practicing pitstops or is there more to it of what you guys are trying to do. When you're taking the time to do pit practice it's a lot of different things honestly and it all depends on what tracks we're going to when you're going to go to like a superspeedway race you need to be ready for you know. Left side tires fuel only Reno right side tires things like that but what we do is choreography and in. This is one of the things that you kind of. Try to tell the young guys that come up like we don't do things fast like the the speed is built into the choreography. Like you could almost walk around a race car and do a thirteen second pitstop like if you do everything correctly kind of breaking the stopdown doing all of the small things and then obviously as you get more experience kind of putting that together and then being able to do it all at once because there's a lot of things that have to happen and they have to happen in very specific order for it to go well and it's just a matter of breaking it down in it and that practice like you point where you know you're doing a lot of stops and drew work and things like that but you know it's it's a lot of stuff also what else is going into being ready to go over the wall. Aside from pit practice you're not just going to show up on Sunday and jump over the wall. What's going on to keep you ready to keep you in shape because again? It's not something where anybody can. Just go jump over and like I mean now you know as we've kind of gotten along as difficult as is to pass on the race track now like there's kind of been this extra importance put on pitstops because it's easier to pass on pit road sometimes at it is on the racetrack. But you know every major team has a trainer. Everybody's doing workouts. You know some teams have sports psychologist some teams now have nutritionists like I was at rush for a long time In like they have a Jennifer Brunelli. Who is I believe the nutritionist for the Carolina Panthers? She comes up there a couple of times a week you know. They've got a stock the fridge. They're bringing meals. There's all kinds of stuff in it. We are to the point where we are getting treated like full-time professional athletes. And it's like it has to be that way like if you WANNA compete at that level. That's what's necessary and you know massage and athletic trainers and you know getting stretched out and and all of these things. These are all available to us. Get up at our CR. We have a massage therapist. That comes up there. We have athletic trainer. That comes up there who have had to see a couple of times lately which I love but yeah like You know we have to be ready. You have to feel good and you know. There's a lot of things that go into that that you know obviously people will never see all right so you thought have come on the PODCAST. Talk about pick her stuff. Which is what I want to talk about. Also mentioned were here at world of outlaws. Because you've got a day job. I do have a day job so fill everybody in like we did at the start of the show on what you do here so I have a you know I I got done with college and you know obviously I wanted to go kind of pursue this picker thing but I spent a lot of money to go to college. I mean a lot and so I figured that I should probably do something with all of this money that I spent Which I kind of ended up not doing because I have a marketing degree in like now. I'm doing web development. Which does things don't really go together different yet. But I've been I've worked at world racing group which owns the world of outlaws for almost seven years and do web development work along with Chris Who's in in here with US waving as if this is like the people can see him as he's waving in the corner But we can. We manage all of our all of the websites in we have somewhere in the neighborhood of fifteen or twenty websites and social media accounts dirt vision. You know all of these different things that we have to do and keep up with them and I was kind of a one man band here for a long time and have added Chris here in the not so recent past to help me out and our just feeding his ego. But it's true it's true I if it wasn't for Chris. We wouldn't have gotten a lot of the things done that we've been able to do lately but it's become basically for the last you know effectively going on seven years now working seven days a week because between practice and office time. I work Monday through Friday. And then you know sometimes Friday. Sometimes Saturday get up and go to the racetrack. Work all weekend and come back and do it all again. So you mentioned web design and dirt vision so fans of dirt racing will recognize all of that. Yeah if you know anything about yeah if you know anything about dirt racing I mean. World of electric cars are probably the largest racing series on the planet And if you know about that then You know you've seen my work. You're one of the guys behind the scenes. Yes I'm the face you don't see face for radio right. Exactly yes when it comes to pit road crew members and again making a lot of guys flying on Sunday they get all. The glory isn't unique. Though for somebody like you to have a day job to be also be working during the week. I'm I'm sure there's others who do it. Yeah it seems like it'd be unique I mean there's guys that have other jobs outside of racing. There's plenty of guys that were working shops during the week or work in like a pit practice area because there's a ton of work that needs to be done to be able to just have pit practice so law guys that do stuff like that but I mean there's been plenty of guys over the years that I've known that have done stuff like this. I Dennis Terry. Who was a tire? Change for longtime as a landscape architect. And so there's examples of that you know guys that do real estate or any number of other things and it's like I wonder sometimes like what my side Gig is. It's like what's the fulltime job. And what's the site? Because sometimes I think office job was the full-time job in the NASCAR. Stuff as a side. Sometimes it feels like the other way around. I'm not really sure now I said it. That's what I'm saying like this. I feel full-time jobs. A little bit. So which I you know. I can't complain. I grew up a racing fan and and obviously have put myself into a position where I can consume as much racing as my heart can handle. But it's nice to be able to kind of have the different jobs and you know while I'm in the office. I don't necessarily have to think about changing tires and while I'm Jay Towers. I don't necessarily think about the office so I I kind of have a pretty solid GIG here but at the same time. What does your week consist of of splitting the two? Because you do have pit practice eventually. Yes on the weekends which are flying out to the racetrack. And then how many days are you in the office? So what is your week kind of look like so? Mondays are typically like we do meetings at our CR. We we watch film and kind of rigged the week so I spend a couple of hours maybe an hour up at our CR and then come back on the office and you spend the afternoon the office and then Tuesday Wednesday Thursday. I got to drop my little guy off at school about eight and then I have to be at work out at ten. We have practice at eleven. I'm usually out of the shot by noon and I live about an hour from the shop so I'm not home until usually about one o'clock grab a shower and get some lunch and then come to the office I work from. I usually get here about two o'clock and then try to work until five. Thirty six six thirty but the thing about what we do world racing group me and Chris. Is You know our job is online. Like as long as we have a computer and Internet connection we can work anywhere And we're kind of on call all the time like I've done plenty of work on the road at the racetrack and late at night and things like that when things go sideways so I try to be. I'm usually in the office Monday through Friday. Usually in the afternoons for at least a few hours but obviously have done plenty of other work outside of that and then meetings. Monday practice Tuesday Wednesday Thursday. And then you know if we're not traveling or something like that. We'll get Fridays off. I hope you have some good warranties on your car when it comes to all these miles yes I've wanted to have the car I just got rid of here. In December I put like sixty five thousand miles on in like two and a half years because like I drive back and forth are CR which is an hour but then when we fly at a states Ville which is forty five minutes kind of in the other direction So back and forth to states bill a couple of times a week to get on the airplane and the car I bought in in December. I've already put I think seven thousand miles on in. It's now February of two and a half months. I'm in the CAR A lot. I feel like it's Kinda like me. My car only what two years old now a little over two years old and I'm already at fifty thousand miles because it's funny. I drive the racetrack. Everybody thinks it's rental cars. I'm like no. No that's my. That's my car promote your podcast. Open Red Yes which I have not listened to but I know it's very I've listened to your show. Listen I least knew the title okay. Here's I see it okay. I just have not hit play here in the office. I see it on twitter so We started this in twenty sixteen. We do a weekly podcast around our world sprint car series and our video guy. Ross we We are this week was one hundred and eighty eighth episode and so we talked to drivers crew chiefs promoters you know officials. I mean. We've kind of run the gamut of of everybody and we've even talked to bell and Larsen and and you know some people with some NASCAR connections as well so We do like an hour long. Show you know we do interviews in breakdown races and things like that and It's been fun. We actually were sitting in the podcast here right now where we We record the show on a regular basis but a lot of fun. And it's it's cool to you know the few times a year where I get to go to a dirt track and see some racing as you know the people that come up to you and thank you for the show you do and and you know the reaction from the fans has been pretty cool. Well listen I will click play eventually but I know what it is. I've seen it. I know title. It's a process Justin. Chris has gotten me to watch races now. I asked you. I've been to a dirt race. It's a process. Eventually the PODCAST will come. Okay we'll we'll be here when you're ready hundred and eighty eight episodes of the podcast listening your heart can handle. I have one hundred eight episodes so listen tomorrow to a few years. I actually was just listening to the Randall episode today. Said you listen because you knew you're going to be on it and you just wanted to know I've listened to other shows too. I have okay. Randall was great by rental was fantastic. I like rental. I had to ask him what some of those job titles were. Yeah and I just nodded and agreed like I knew it was and I told them that. Afterwards we had a good laugh about Greg crew chief. Good Guy Circling it back to pitstops You another thing you've done on twitter as you shared a thread recently of changes coming to pit road because with Nexgen lot of speculation out there among the race car but also what pitstops could or could not be What do you want to put on the record of what could or could not be happening in the near future? I think you know. Obviously nothing is official yet and nothing is official until the the people down Daytona decide. What's official but you know a lot of rumors in things like you know single wheel nuts and different fuelling like you know using a fuelling rig instead of cans and Air Jacks and you know like them. Not having dedicated pickers at all using. You know kind of having guys kind of do both. There's you know there's tons of rumors flying around here probably within the next couple of weeks. Maybe month we'll have some more clarity about stuff but you know I I am a you know. I've I've made a living at this for fourteen years. Obviously I'm going to be biased against changes. There have been plenty of changes in my time. You know like we've gone from having seven guys over the wall tapping five guys over the wall. You know the the guns are on basically the third different version of guns stud length rules and what you're allowed to do with tires and and there's all kinds of things that have changed in my time and obviously this is just kind of the progression of the sport in terms of my own area. Like I'm not thrilled by single wheel. Nuts nuts. It's not what we do in this talk about. Nascar being more stock and trying to make them look more like production cars like production. Cars don't have single wheel nuts on them You know we're not indycar. We'RE NOT FORMULA ONE I. I certainly don't love that. And I. I like the skill of what we do. And hitting five lug nuts and things like that. And I'm a fan of Ole Motor Sports Love World Rally. I Love Formula One There's a lot of things I'm interested in. You know. Formula One pitstops single wheel nuts somewhere in the neighborhood of twenty people to change four tires like they're changing four tires in less than two seconds. That's incredible but that's that's not what we do. That's not who we are like we. Are you know efficient? And we are quick and there's only a few of us and we have to move around the car and I just I like what we do. It's bums me out a little bit that it's going to change but like that's the cost of Progress I guess and that's what we have to do. Then then we'll just taking pit road out of it for a second. Do you have a thought on just where we're going with next gen what we kind of know already. I mean I think you know in terms of not having if you go back over the course of the history of the sport and you know it takes money to make this deal happen in you know wherever you stand on tobacco sponsorship like that. Was that money. You know kept racing going for a really long time. Obviously that's not coming back And so in this age of trying to find corporate sponsorship and and things like our ally and and trying to find ways to to continue to convince companies to spend money on this one of the things that you can do to get companies involved is an companies you can get involved is the manufacturers and the manufacturers have big budgets and you know Modern Cup cars have nothing to do with production. Cars weren't in Viet engines. And Re will drive and these things don't really look. I mean they're not there's nothing production about them and so like moving more in a direction where you can not only use this as a marketing vehicle but if manufacturers can use this as a way to innovate and and to continue to improve production cars like that's probably the direction we need to go just for the health of the sport and I think you know we can keep competition. I think we can keep good racing. it's GonNa be a delicate balance and there's going to be people along the way that are not going to like the direction but I mean you know. Obviously what we've been doing probably isn't working And so you know something has to be done in in you know. Is this the right direction? I mean who knows I guess time will tell but I mean we have to make changes and we have to make this You know strong and get more companies. Get the more manufacturers. Because I think that's that's what's going to take for this thing to survive. Changes is the keyword a lot of changes coming whether we liked couple years. All right as we wrap it up. Let's do this. Tell everybody besides pit road everybody where they can find you on social media and see all those pictures and unique videos and what. I am on twitter at just underscore fiedler and my instagram account. I think is at Justin Feeds F. E. E. D. Z. Because I don't think I could. I don't think I could fit my whole name on instagram. But yeah you can find me on twitter. Instagram Have A facebook account and I get like people trying to be friends with me on facebook but I don't really like facebook so I'm not really active there so facebook has not been something. I've really cared about over the years. I have a public page. But that's just for the podcast links and writing laying having account. It's very public like you can go in there and see me but like if you start it from me. I'm probably not gonNA fringe you. That's what I'm yeah. I'm the same way. Because you're not gonNA find like don't take offence right like it's you're just somebody knock against you. You're not gonNA find what you're looking for on that page. Oh No if you want to keep up with me in in the racing stuff and things like that. I love twitter. I'm trying to get better at instagram. So those are going to be the two best places straight Justin. Well I appreciate the time and keep waving everybody so we know where you are wave every week. Don't worry a fun afternoon with Justin over at the world racing group headquarters which fun fact they're based in Charlotte North Carolina so you think of Concord the Charlotte area you think of Nascar maybe even Nhra but w RG is based here. And that's where they're doing all the behind the scenes work so for anybody who has a dirt fan can watch their favorite races and speaking of the concourse area. If you're ever in town or say you're making a trip soon for the all star race and or the Coca Cola. Six hundred put aside some time to visit the Lionel Store in Concord Mills. Yes they have a store as I've shared with some of you on twitter recently. That was good information. I've seen you can do all of your daycare. Shopping in person. Fine Die. Cast cars haulers even shirts and browse their collectible train sets and if you visit during the month of March. I found this on their website. They're having a madness in March promotion. Where TRAIN SETS TRACKS DIE? Cast cars and more are twenty percent off plus another twenty percent off. Aw clearance items. Have you taken the pledge it that pledge is to be a safe driver by visiting team F. R. M. dot com slash drive safe and leaving the speeding to the professionals some of those far ranging consequences. You heard me mentioned at the beginning of the show. Include a greater potential for loss of vehicle control and the economic implications of a speed related crash. So Join Front. Row motorsports classic Cars Dot Com and the National Road Safety Foundation imploding to drive safe and they might reward you for doing so. You could win. Signed Memorabilia and again. What's better than tickets to the championship? Finale in Phoenix. Later this year where you can join front row motorsports as always. I appreciate you tuning in. I hope you leave a rating and review enjoyed. What you heard today. Join me next week. When chocolate Myers sits down for a conversation as well as a walk and talk through the Richard childress racing museum. You won't want to miss that. That's next week right here on. The racing writers podcast.