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Get to Know Jimmy Makar

During the past 20 years, Joe Gibbs Racing Team has experienced many changes. A constant is Jimmy Makar, senior vice president of racing operations. Makar has journeyed and grown with the team since he joined in August of 1991. Makar began as the crew chief for Dale Jarrett, driver of the No. 18 Interstate Batteries car. Jarrett and Makar earned Joe Gibbs Racing its first victory at the 1993 Daytona 500. Makar went on to serve as Bobby Labonte’s crew chief for eight seasons. Afterwards, he moved into his current role to oversee all aspects of competition for Joe Gibbs Racing. Many victories and challenges have filled the past 20 years for Makar, but no regrets.
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I’m a NASCAR Tire Specialist

Without the benefit of on-board computers that you’ll find in other racing series, the crew chief of a NASCAR team relies on the feedback provided by a driver when trying to set a car up. In addition to the driver, there is another voice that the crew chief listens to for information on the car’s handling – that of the tire specialist. You won’t believe just how much a tire can tell you about the mood of a race car.
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How It’s Made: NASCAR Hoods


We all know the importance of the parts under the hood of a racecar, but in NASCAR the hood itself plays several very important roles.

*Editor’s Note: This article was originally composed during the 2011 NASCAR season. Since then, NASCAR has switched to carbon fiber hoods and decklids in competition. Read more about the new hoods here. This article is still provides a great look into the JGR Fabrication shop. We hope you enjoy it!

Aerodynamically speaking, the hood must fit seamlessly onto the body of our Toyota Camry. When you’re traveling at 180-200 mph, even the smallest lip can affect the car’s ability to cut through the air. Beyond the edges of the hood, per NASCAR rules the hood must maintain its original shape and angles under extreme forces. At times the air traveling beneath the car will try to suck the hood down towards the track, creating a large dent in the middle of the hood. This buckling can cause wind resistance to be reduced – an advantage that NASCAR does not permit. To counteract this, several support bars are built into our hoods.
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Meet Kenny Sapper: Rear Suspension Tech

Would you believe that a baking pan and a block of ice are two important tools used to work on NASCAR racecars? It’s true; just ask Kenny Sapper, the technician in charge of rear suspensions at Joe Gibbs Racing. Specifically, Kenny works on the rear-end housings that go into our Sprint Cup cars. He has been a team member for about 6 years and has celebrated 50 victories with JGR (at the time this article was written).
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