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.
2013 “Pit Crew U” Schedule
Session #92 January 7 - February 27, 2013
Session #93 March 4 - April 24, 2013
Session #94 April 29 - June 24, 2013
Session #95 July 1 - August 21, 2013
Session #96 August 26 - October 21, 2013
Session #97 October 28 - December 18, 2013
2014 “Pit Crew U” Schedule
Session #98 January 6 to February 26, 2014
Session #99 March 3 to April 23, 2014
Session #100 April 28 to June 23, 2014 w/ Monday, May 26 holiday
Session #101 June 30 to August 20, 2014
Session #102 August 25 to October 20, 2014 w/ Monday, September 1 holiday
Session #103 October 27 to December 17, 2014
*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.
Furniture Row Racing's pit crew trains at PIT full-time. PIT's state-of-the-art facility makes it a perfect training location for top teams as it includes a 1/4 mile track, six pit stall pit road with high definition cameras above each stall, film review rooms and a full gym. The Furniture Row Racing team hopes that training at PIT will give them an advantage over the competition heading into the 2013 season.
Norfolk Naval Shipyard sent a team to PIT on November 27th and 28th for a two day Lean Performance U program. The program focused on teamwork and lean practices and included, two race shop tours, theatre presentations and a hands-on pit road experience. The teams performed six pit stops each, with unique scenarios incorporated into every round.
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