10 Essential Tools of NASCAR Pit Crew Members


Air Gun (Impact Wrench)

Air guns help make NASCAR tire changes extremely fast.
Air guns help make NASCAR tire changes extremely fast.
Jason Smith/­Getty Images for NASCAR

­If you've ever had to change a tire on the side of the road, you know that getting all the lug nuts off with a regular socket wrench can take forever. That's why an air gun or impact wrench is standard equipment for NASCAR crews. It uses compressed air to remove and replace lug nuts as quickly as possible. With their high-powered impact wrenches, NASCAR crews can change all four tires on a car in less than 20 seconds. Try doing that with a regular lug wrench!

One benefit of a hand socket wrench over an impact wrench is that the hand wrench never has to be rebuilt. Because NASCAR air guns are so powerful and used under stressful conditions, they need special attention. In fact, most crew members rebuild their impact wrenches after every 60 uses.

­Air guns are essential to a quick pit stop, but the gun has to get its power from somewhere, right? Move on to the next page to find out what keeps that impact wrench spinning.