Performance Instruction & Training (PIT) has been training the most sought after pit crew members since 2001. The eight-week Pit Crew U program lays the ground for well-rounded crewmen who understand all aspects of a pit stop and those selected to continue in the 5 Off 5 On Race Team Performance program hone their skills through practice and actual over-the-wall racing experience until they are ready to make that career move into the sport. Teams also utilize PIT’s state-of-the-art training facility for their practices and contract 5 Off 5 On students for their crews or recruit full-time employees. Graduates have gone on to win series championships in all divisions of stock car motorsports and Pit Crew U touts four consecutive individual All-Star Pit Crew Challenge Champions. Alumni of the program are now in Pit Crew Coordinator positions at many of racing’s most competitive teams.
Pit Crew U is the experiential education division of Performance Instruction & Training designed to teach the specific skills associated with a career as an over-the-wall pit crew team member in stock car motorsports.
Pit Crew U is conducted on Monday and Wednesday for eight (8) weeks. Evening classes (6pm - 9pm) are regularly scheduled while morning (9am - 12pm) and afternoon (2pm - 5pm) classes are available based on enrollment request.
While there are no prerequisites for enrollment other than age (participants must be at least 16 years old) Pit Crew U is designed for those who seek professional employment in the motorsports industry. The program is both physically and mentally challenging and provides a level of skill development that exceeds “understanding the concepts.” Persons who successfully complete the program have both the knowledge and the skills to actually perform and put to action the concepts.
Pit Crew U training includes equipment selection and maintenance, pit stop choreography, position responsibilities and skill development, and race day preparation. In addition, students receive information from professionals in the areas of accounting, resume preparation, sponsor relations and expectations, race equipment, and health conditioning / nutrition. At the completion of each Pit Crew U session, instructors “rank” students into three classifications:
Certificate of Participation - Persons who have enrolled but not met minimal attendance or skill performance standards. These persons will not be invited to participate in higher level programming and may repeat the Pit Crew U program should they desire.
Certificate of Completion - Persons who have met the minimal attendance and performance standards and have, in the opinion of the instructors, the physical skills, mental aptitude, and positive attitude to continue learning and practicing over-the-wall skills and have the potential for a motorsports career.
Certificate of Performance - Persons who have met the minimal attendance standards and shown exceptional skill development and have, in the opinion of the instructors, the potential to perform at an advanced in the motorsports industry.
Those participants that have successfully completed the program and received a Certificate of Completion or a Certificate of Performance are invited to continue their career development by attending the 5 Off 5 On Race Team Performance coaching sessions on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. These practices build on the skills taught in Pit Crew U and prepare participants for actual professional over-the-wall placement and try-outs with professional motorsports teams.
Completion of the Pit Crew U program and participation in 5 Off 5 On do not guarantee “playing time” at the track. As a performance driven activity, only those Pit Team Athletes deemed ready by coaches will travel with race teams.
2015 “Pit Crew U” Schedule
Session #104 January 5 to February 25, 2015
Session #105 March 2 to April 25, 2015
Session #106 April 27 to June 22, 2015 w/ Monday, May 25 holiday
Session #107 June 29 to August 19, 2015
Session #108 August 24 to October 19, 2015 w/ Monday, September 7 holiday
Session #109 October 26 to December 16, 2015
*Sessions may require alternative meeting nights to compensate for holiday observances.
Required for testing: No. 2 pencil
25,000 RPM IR Hurd Thunder Gun
“It’s a controlled environment in which students can learn and have the confidence that they know what to do at a race. Pit Crew U gives them the best opportunity to learn to handle the pressure mentally and physically and be prepared to go out there and get a job in NASCAR.”
Six-time Winston-Cup Championship
Crew Chief, Fox Sports Analyst
“I put in a lot of practice time as a student in Pit Crew U and it paid off. The first job I got in racing came after a coach saw me at PIT.”
Nick O’Dell, PCU 14 Graduate
Front Tire Changer, Sprint Cup Series
Joe Gibbs Racing, No. 18 Car
2008 Pit Crew Challenge Champion
“Pit Crew U is the program I started in and is a one of a kind opportunity for students to develop the skills it takes to go over the wall.”
Lance Munksgard, PCU 2 Graduate
Head Coach, Michael Waltrip Racing
5 Off 5 On services are available to individuals who have successfully completed the Pit Crew U program. On successful completion, instructors and coaches invite those individuals who have shown the aptitude and ability to pursue a career in stock car motorsports as an over-the-wall crew member.
Participants in the 5 Off 5 On program are required to participate in weekly pit crew practice and conditioning. 5 Off 5 On practice sessions are held Tuesday and Thursday evenings. Tuesday practices consist of “skills and drills” to continue to develop better individual performance. Thursday practices often consist of moving pit stops focused on the specific performances required at the race tracks to which teams will be traveling to on an upcoming weekend (example: Bristol pit stops are different than Tallageda pit stops).
PIT associates regularly with team managers, crew chiefs, and pit crew coordinators of many teams to inform them of individuals with exceptional potential. Pit crew coordinators frequent 5 Off 5 On practice sessions to scout talent for current position openings and developmental programs.
Additional opportunities are available to 5 Off 5 On athletes. Many film production companies use 5 Off 5 On athletes as actors for race related movies, music videos, and television commercials.
Performance Instruction and Training (PIT), a pit crew and corporate training center based in Mooresville, N.C. is proud to announce that they have received official licensing through the state of North Carolina's Board of Community Colleges as the first and only state licensed pit crew training school in North Carolina. PIT General manager Bob Plott made the announcement today and issued the following statement:
"We are excited to receive official state licensing for our program in that it officially validates the success that we have enjoyed as a company for over a decade. Moreover, the licensing provides additional scholarship financial options and protection for our students whom we feel are the future of the sport. Since its inception in 2002, PIT has trained students 99 classes from 48 states and four foreign countries at our state of art 10 million dollar training facility. Registration is now open for our landmark 100th class which begins April 28th, 2014. Our ownership (Tom DeLoach and Jeff Hammond), internal staff and our coaches are second to none. Most PIT coaches hold advanced college degrees in training related disciplines, and all of them have worked, or are currently working for top NASCAR teams as pit crew athletes or coaches. More than 70 of our graduates have won individual or team championships at the highest levels of NASCAR completion, at least three of our graduates are coaches at the Cup level, and almost 80% of our graduates are hired for jobs in the racing industry. And PIT is also the official developmental team for Joe Gibbs Racing. We are proud of these past and present accomplishments, and prouder still of the bright future ahead of us that has been further enhanced by this state accreditation."
Lake Norman News - by Deb Williams
"Retired Mobil executive Tom DeLoach's affinity for racing didn't end when the Statesboro, Ga., native left the company in 2000. He simply channeled his passion for the sport in a different direction.
A year after retiring, DeLoach realized the over-the-wall crews were attaining a new level of professionalism and a training facility was needed for those seeking that type of motorsports career. The Mooresville resident partnered with NASCAR championship crew chief Jeff Hammond, who had recently accepted a TV analyst job with FOX Sports, and together they implemented the training facility the personable DeLoach envisioned.
They purchased the pit crew school known as 5 Off 5 On, created the Performance Instruction and Training facility, and constructed a state-of-the-art complex in Mooresville. Earlier this month, school officials were notified they were now licensed by the North Carolina Board of Community Colleges, an objective that took at least five years to achieve.
"I had to go over there and rub my hand over the license itself and say, ‘Whoa! This is wonderful,'" said an excited DeLoach, whose NASCAR Camping World Truck Series team Red Horse Racing is based across the street from PIT. "It has been such a torturous process of trying to get to that point, because frankly, we are the one and only pit school training facility licensed by the state of North Carolina. When you are a pioneer, it takes longer to figure out where the trail is. And when it's that painful to get, the victory is that much sweeter."
Figuring out the correct business path is something DeLoach has done throughout his professional career.
After receiving a bachelor's degree with honors in chemical engineering from Georgia Tech in 1969, DeLoach joined Mobil Oil at its Beaumont, Texas, refinery. He progressed through the company and became manager of crude oil supply for U.S. marketing and refining in 1980.
In 1981, he was liaison with Mobil's diversified businesses. Three years later he became vice president of U.S. supply and in 1986 he was appointed vice president and general manager of U.S. marketing.
DeLoach was elected vice president of corporate planning and economics for Mobil in 1990. The following year he was elected to the Mobil Oil board of directors and named vice president of worldwide supply and trading. In 1993, DeLoach was named executive vice president in charge of international marketing and refining. In 1994, he was appointed chief financial officer for Mobil Corp. In 1998, DeLoach became president of Global Midstream.
From 1993 until his retirement in 2000, he also was the worldwide coordinator of Mobil's motorsports programs.
Four years after DeLoach retired from Mobil, PIT opened its 33,000-square-foot facility on slightly more than five acres in Mooresville. The facility includes a 24,000-square-foot building, a 9,000-square-foot garage and a quarter-mile track.
In addition to pit crew training for individuals and teams, PIT provides corporate team building initiatives and lean performance programs. Bob Plott is the facility's general manager and Toni Thomas handles the financials.
"We kinda grew into the business and we feel we have a state-of-the-art facility that's second-to-none," DeLoach said. "It has the ability to give as (much of) a real life training experience to the young men and women as anything out there. We have a quarter-mile track around the building, we have pit stalls, we can simulate pit road traffic, we can have you blocked in and we can have you slide out of the (pit) box. If you practice as close to reality as you possibly can, then it's going to work."
Pit Crew U, an eight-week course that involves classroom and hands-on training, recently graduated its 98th class. In addition to learning pit stop choreography and each of the six positions on an over-the-wall crew, the students studied race-day preparation, equipment maintenance and selection, and pit road rules. Those who excel in that course receive an invitation into PIT's 5 Off 5 On Race Team Performance program. In that program the person receives athletic training, skills coaching and the opportunity to serve on an over-the-wall crew in stock car racing.
"I want to see the fight in the dog," DeLoach said in explaining what he looks for in people. "Not necessarily the most spectacular physical specimen, but I want to see somebody that has the heart. That heart will persevere when it's cold and rainy and uncomfortable and rain delays. The other attributes may or may not, so that's what we try to coach them into."
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