THINK OF AN NFL quarterback facing a two-minute drill with 90 yards to go. Now, drop that down to 14 seconds, and those 90 yards to 250 miles. No disrespect, Peyton, but that is pressure. In a sport like NASCAR, where winners are decided by tenths of a second, absolutely everything – a missed lug nut, a dropped gas can, a loose cap – counts and can cost your team a race. That’s what the pit crew of Kasey Kahne’s No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports team faces every week during the season, which began in Daytona in mid-February and runs through November.
Yet, for crew chief Kenny Francis and the crew of the Farmers Insurance Chevrolet, it’s less about pressure and more about performance. Each race week, the crew rehearses its moves like a dance company so each pit stop is an effortless replay of practice.