NASCAR: Are Dueling Agendas An Impossible Balancing Act?

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USA Today Sports

Crew Chiefs

Task: Take the rules you’re given and see how far you can bend (without breaking) them to maximize performance.

The crew chief is like each team’s head coach. He has an owner to answer to, but is responsible for uniting and motivating all the different parts that make up the whole — chassis builders, fab shop guys, engine guys, engineers, over-the-wall crew members and the driver.

The crew chief is given the playing rules for the sport as decreed by NASCAR  and is expected to play within those rules, while at the same time push the envelope to gain every possible advantage. This is even more critical today with engines all producing similar horsepower and cars so aerodynamically equal. Some of the brightest minds in the garage can’t fully realize their potential if their team is limited in financial or human capital while others enjoy anything they tell their owner they need.

If this wasn’t enough, the crew chief is also expected to come up with a winning game plan each week, and then adjust that plan throughout the event as circumstances warrant and different “game situations” arise.Often times, this will cast them as the hero or the villain.