Let's face it: No one is going to be able to drive 500 miles without gassing up. Beyond simply needing the fuel to keep the car on the track, how much fuel to carry and when to fill up is a key part of NASCAR racing strategy. Here's the dilemma: If you fill the fuel tank to the top, you won't have to stop as often; however, the weight of the extra fuel will slow the car down. If you don't add enough fuel, the vehicle will be lighter and faster, but you may end up running out of gas somewhere out on the track. For these reasons, fuel and fuel strategy is on every NASCAR team member's mind on race day. Every team takes fuel matters very seriously and the method that they use to get the fuel into the car is equally important.
Crews fuel their cars with a fuel can. It's pretty much an upside-down jug with a long spout that the gas man carries over the pit wall, directly to the car. Most gas men carry two at a time, and each container can weigh up to 90 pounds. Along with the fuel can is the catch can -- this is a smaller can held by another team member, the gas catch man, to contain any fuel that's spilled or overflows.
So what happens when things start to fall apart? If you read that in a literal sense, then you'll understand why the next item on our list is so important to NASCAR teams on race day.