Pit crew training, conditioning pays big dividends

Seconds lost by pit stop blunders can cost a race, or worse a chance to get into the Chase for the Nextel Cup, so practice and conditioning has become more important than ever for the pit crew.

Updated: July 27, 2007, 3:30 PM ET
By Ellen Siska | Special to ESPN.com

Denny Hamlin was livid.

Despite leading a race-high 179 laps at Darlington on May 13, Hamlin's efforts were foiled when dropped lug nuts on a late pit stop toppled him from second place to 16th. Although the driver of the No. 11 Chevy rallied to a second place finish, he was not happy with his pit crew, and he spoke out in anger after the race.

"If we lose by 20-30 points when it comes down to the championship, we know exactly where we lost it, and that's on pit road," Hamlin said. ...

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