Twenty minutes outside of Charlotte, North Carolina, tucked behind an unassuming retail district, sits the headquarters for one of the most legendary teams in NASCAR. Michael Waltrip Racing is home to three individual teams, each with a dedicated crew of 80 mechanical, engineering and, of course, logistical members who transport everything over 180,000 miles and to 38 races a year. Which means if the fleet crew isn’t already on the road, it’s preparing to be.
MWR Headquarters. Michael Waltrip Racing maintains its massive headquarters in a renovated movie theater outside of Charlotte, North Carolina.
Talladega bound. Michael Waltrip and his fleet crew outside of MWR’s North Carolina headquarters. (L to R) Glenn Shano, Jeff Shano, Ray Erwin, Michael Waltrip, Chris Bryant, Bill “Stump” Lewis.
“We have a logistical challenge unmatched in any other sport,” says Michael Waltrip. “And our fleet department has never let us down. Not once.”
Thoughts From Chris Bryant
Transportation Director for Michael Waltrip Racing
“We have to make smart choices about what goes into these trucks,” says Chris Bryant, Transportation Director for Michael Waltrip Racing.
This lot is full. Michael Waltrip Racing hosts three full-time drivers, but at any given point dozens of cars are being worked on throughout the course of the season.
Staff meeting. Michael Waltrip team members put their heads together to keep their machines in top working order.
A real gear head. Sometimes, getting the team in a position to win requires becoming one with the engine.
Custom replacement parts. To facilitate repairs and maintenance, MWR maintains its own in-house mechanical engineering department.
Work in progress. Dozens of engines in various stages of development can be seen throughout MWR’s main mechanical bay.
Every 100th of a second counts. In MWR’s pit crew training yard, each team practices under the watchful eye of a coach who hopes to shave fractions of a second from their pit stop times.
Body work. When they’re not in the training yard, chances are you’ll find the pit crew in MWR’s 2,500 square foot, fully equipped gym.
Service with a smile. More than dedicated and proud, MWR fleet crew guys love what they do–and it shows.
Prepared for anything. In addition to primary and backup cars, inventory on the haulers includes every part and tool needed to build a third car from the ground up–just in case.
Last-minute adjustments. Before each race car is loaded onto the hauler, dozens of mechanics swarm in from every side.
All aboard. The mechanical crew taking Clint Bowyer’s #15 car out of the garage to the MWR hauler.
A fluid operation. MWR haulers collectively travel more than 60,000 miles per year–and if they don’t make it to the race, neither do the cars. That makes PEAK Commercial and Industrial fluids vital to MWR’s success. “With all the fluids, we have to make the right choices because we have no tolerance for breakdowns.”
Finishing touches. A detailing specialist prepares one of three cars heading out to Talladega. If you ask us, it looks ready for showtime.