I work in the engine department, but have experience in most areas of the team. I will answer the questions I can.

Edit: thanks for a fun ama everyone! You can continue to ask questions on my forum at WWW.breakintoracing.com

Comments: 246 • Responses: 93  • Date: 

Yeahdoug13 karma

Sorry will use the reply button now.

Readitonreddit123411 karma

I love NASCAR. How do you respond to the Murica posts insulting NASCAR?

Yeahdoug11 karma

I used to be a hater. I was a huge F1 fan, but working in the industry has obviously opened my eyes to the amount of technology in NASCAR. Plus the parity makes the racing exciting. Many of our engineers come from F1 and prefer it in NASCAR.

marvinlunenberg-3 karma

Your engineers don't come from F1...come on now. Completely different ball game.

puffpio1 karma

its somewhat true. sure the aero engineers may not come, but the chassis people, simulation, mechanics..etc all can come over

I've heard that F1 actually doesn't pay engineers/mechanics that well and its expensive as hell to live in England...so NASCAR is appealing from a financial point of view

Yeahdoug1 karma

Couldn't have said it better myself. Competitive wages and way lower cost of living make the switch very appealing.

i_drink_corona11 karma

I don't know a huge amount about NASCAR, but I watched a video the other day showing a pit stop, and noticed that they didn't use centre lock wheels, any reason for this?

Yeahdoug19 karma

NASCAR as a sanctioning body likes to keep the pit stop a central part of the race. The 5 lug setup is a lot slower and harder to perform. There also tend to be a lot more mistakes which adds to the drama of the race. You have to remember it's a show.

i_drink_corona9 karma

Thanks, it's really interesting to see the difference between NASCAR and F1, in terms of how/why people enjoy it!

Yeahdoug8 karma

YW. I enjoy both. Both very different, but entertaining in their own ways.

pizzabyjake10 karma

On a scale from 10 to fabulous, how gay is Michael Waltrip?

Yeahdoug13 karma

Up there.

Yeahdoug10 karma

I do not agree with Hamlin's fine. I don't think most agree with it.

I think most of the guys in the shop like the G6. Plus we like change. It gives us a chance to get a leg up on the competition. To find an advantage first.

Billbo16787 karma

Would Danica be fired already if she were a guy?

Yeahdoug7 karma

Hard to say. Depends if she still had her sponsor. As long as you have $$, you have a ride right now.

Yeahdoug6 karma

I prefer not to say which team except it it a top team. I don't work for one driver since I'm in the engine shop. I have met a lot of drivers over the last 6 years. I have been involved in 3 Daytona 500 wins. Have the rings to prove it :)

Talladega nights was mostly just for fun.

iamaredditer5 karma

ahh so you must be a hendrick motorsports man.

BurtKusch512 karma

I'd say Roush. They have three 500 wins in six years, if you include Bayne since they get engines from RFR IIRC.

iamaredditer2 karma

yeah looks like roush shows a pic of biff's car on his website he setup.

Yeahdoug3 karma

From an open house they were having.

mtnathlete5 karma

How long have you been involved in NASCAR? What is your degree in?

Yeahdoug7 karma

5 years NASCAR, another 2 years for a supplier. I have a high performance automotive technology degree. It was never a goal to work in NASCAR. Just kind of fell into my lap.

cowboyjosh20101 karma

You've clearly had a good experience with that education path, but do you recommend it in general to people who would like to work with cars somehow?

Yeahdoug3 karma

Yes it's probably even better for someone who wants to be a normal technician or open their own shop.

Yeahdoug5 karma

Thankfully I am not on the road anymore. Well not on a consistent basis. It is very hard for those guys. Most only get one day a week off and have to work most weekends in the year. We try to keep younger guys on the road to keep them from burning them out. The ones with families have their own ways of making it work.

jakeis385 karma

Have you ever got to drive one of the cars

Yeahdoug6 karma


Swizer215 karma

How much does it cost to build a NASCAR car

Yeahdoug9 karma

A new car can be 60-80k. Used cars can be had for 25-40k. The engine can cost just as much. These are just estimates since I don't work on that side of the business.

ramlol6 karma

Holy crap that's cheap, that's honestly really surprising, i thought you missed a 0 on the end.

puffpio1 karma

they make up for it in other means :) in other racing the cars cost sooo much money to build, and they only build a few. in nascar the cars are cheaper to build but they build a ton of them. they build special versions for high speed ovals, short tracks, road courses etc.

so in the end they still spend a crap ton of money on cars..

Yeahdoug1 karma

Yes, it's about the quantity. The cars may only be 100k but they might build 20-25 a year for each team. Plus the engine is rebuilt every race. It adds up. V8SC may cost a lot more but they probably only have 2-3 cars.

ChevyAndMurica5 karma

How many engineers work for your team, and did they graduate from any specific programs (like UNC Charlotte's motorsports engineering program)?

(I'm a mechanical engineering student who'd like to break into the motorsports field).

Yeahdoug8 karma

Oh and FSAE is a must.

Yeahdoug8 karma

We have some UNCC motorsports grads. I'd say 25-30 engineers in the engine department alone.

[deleted]5 karma


Yeahdoug10 karma


HoneyBadger934 karma

How does one get a job driving the transporters? Do the teams generally have one of the pit crew with a CDL drive it, or do they hire truck drivers with really good driving/safety records?

Yeahdoug10 karma

They hire dedicated truck drivers. Usually two per truck so they don't have to stop. Preferably ones that can grill a good steak too.

HoneyBadger935 karma

What do they do during races? Help out in the garage or clean/resupply the truck?

Yeahdoug4 karma

Exactly. They take care of meals. Make sure the hauler stays well supplied and clean.

mtnathlete3 karma

How many hours a week do you typically work? Do you get to take vacations?

Yeahdoug6 karma

50-60. Yes I get to take vacations, but sometimes it's hard.

mtnathlete4 karma

Would you recommend your job to someone else? Why / why not?

Yeahdoug5 karma

oohhh that's a tough one. I'm on the wrong side of the talent line so if you want to make a lot of money probably not. A lot of people get burned out in this industry and end up doing something else. If you're really competitive and hard working I'd say go for it. I love the feeling I get when we win.

mtnathlete1 karma

That's what I thought. I work as a project engineer at a large company. About 10 weeks a year when we are in the midst of a major manufacturing change, work can long and veery stressful. But the other 40 weeks are a random mix, depending on what breaksdown, etc

Looking at the length of the NASCAR season and the fact that it's a competitive sports, there would appear to be limited down time.

I would think it would lead to burnout and change. Has to look good on the resume.

Yeahdoug2 karma

Can always work for a supplier. Mahle is in Asheville.

mtnathlete1 karma

What do they make?

Yeahdoug1 karma

Racing pistons for all different types of motorsports.

Tw1tcHy1 karma

S'all about that Wiseco man ;)

Yeahdoug1 karma

For my owns engines I use cp.

mtnathlete2 karma

If you ever make it up to the Asheville area, let me know.

What are you interests outside NASCAR / cars?

Yeahdoug4 karma

Shooting, Fitness, Mtn. Biking, EDM Music. Usually pass through Asheville a few times a year.

mtnathlete2 karma

I am into mountain biking, that's why I live here. If you want to go on some awesome rides, let me know. What do you ride?

Yeahdoug5 karma

I just have an entry level Cannondale hardtail. Nothing special, but fine for the trails here.

iamaredditer3 karma

Have you seen any good fights among the drivers? Other than Tony the tiger who do you think the toughest guy in nascar is?

Yeahdoug3 karma

No not in person. Sorry.

Yeahdoug3 karma

I don't think I'd want to mess with Newman either.

iamaredditer3 karma

Who is the most down to earth driver that you know? Who is the biggest diva?

Yeahdoug4 karma

For the big names... Biffle's pretty down to earth. So is McMurray. Carl can be a diva. So can Kurt Busch.

iamaredditer2 karma

That is somewhat surprising to me. I remember when the biff was doing an interview of some kid that had won his first truck race and his phone rang and biff went into asshole mode. McMurray doesn't surprise me too much. Carl seems like such a likeable guy in the booth hard to see him as a diva. Kurt doesn't surprise me too much but I think he has really been humbled being dropped and now racing for a tier 2 team. I would have though Krylie Busch or logano on that list for sure though.

Yeahdoug2 karma

Well I guess you can look at it two different ways. On and off the track. Biffle can definitely lose his mind on the radio if the car isn't right. I was thinking more about seeing him around town and stopping to talk to people. Some drivers won't do that. Carl became quite the diva the way he handled his last contract negotiations. IMO

iamaredditer3 karma

Do the owners give a bonus when a driver wins a championship? What is the best gift you have received from working at the shop? How much time do drivers spend at the shop?

Yeahdoug3 karma

Yes, there's usually a bonus. Best gift I've received other than cash is I got to pick out two pairs of WileyX sunglasses. So nothing really that great lol. Some drivers visit more than others. When they win, they will usually buy the shop lunch.

iamaredditer3 karma

What was your opinion of the racing at daytona this year? I found it extremely boring as there was not really any bump drafting. I miss the days when you could be in 20th place with 3 laps left to finishing in 1st in those few laps.
Are there any changes planned for talladega and daytona for this year?

Yeahdoug3 karma

Daytona was mediocre. Really hard to pass even with help. I'm really surprised more people didn't try to hook up and two car tango for the last 5 laps. Although it was harder for the cars to hook up.

No changes that I know of yet. Nascar has been known to make changes at the last minute though.

Yeahdoug3 karma

Ok I'm out for the night. Sorry if I didn't answer you question. G-night.

sriliff3 karma

Come check out the NASCAR subreddit if you get the chance. /r/NASCAR

Yeahdoug1 karma

Will do.

Yeahdoug3 karma

No, I have not driven a cup car except for on the chassis dyno.

xandyaxis3 karma

How could one person get into the industry without knowing anyone on the inside

Yeahdoug9 karma

I have a website dedicated to this, but don't want to seem like I'm pushing it. The short answer is education and building a network of people in the industy. Oh and living in charlotte help.

robotrossy2 karma

share the website.

Yeahdoug11 karma

ok I made this website since I was constantly asked this question. It's pretty ghetto, but the info is there. www.breakintoracing.com

iamaredditer3 karma

How long does an engine last generally?

Yeahdoug4 karma

One race weekend for Cup. The nationwide engines are required to go multiple races, but it's not that big of a deal since the races a shorter.

iamaredditer3 karma

What weight of oil does a nascar engine use? What type of oil do you run in your personal vehicle?

Yeahdoug5 karma

The race oil are custom blends that are much lower viscosity than your normal street engine oil. I just run Mobil 1 in my own car.

BluesFan434 karma

Can you provide values for Viscosity at 40C and 100C? Or just 40C and a Viscosity index?

I prefer to see it in CentiStokes

Yeahdoug4 karma

I prefer cSt too, but sorry i will not.

Adro20192 karma

What is YOUR opinion on the V8 Supercars coming to America?

Yeahdoug5 karma

Love it. Can't wait.

Hempnasty2 karma

What is your opinion on the tech schools that advertise they can help get you on NASCAR pit crews?

How did you get the job?

Yeahdoug3 karma

You can get a entry level position through one of the tech schools, but you better be the best student there. THe pit crews are mostly recruited from other universities where the athletes weren't quite good enough to go pro. Most are flown in just for race day to perform the pit stops only and may have other jobs the rest of the week.

I got in through working for a supplier.

jtr992 karma

Ever heard of the racing sim "iRacing"? If so, what do you and your colleagues think of it?

Yeahdoug4 karma

Yup. I think some of the drivers and nascar endorse it. I've never tried it. I like rFactor.

taint-misbehavin2 karma

How much engine development goes on during the season, and what can the teams really do with the rules for homologation?

Yeahdoug2 karma

It never stops. If something is in the grey area of the rules it can be presented to Nascar for approval.

taint-misbehavin1 karma

Could you give an example of the type of things you guys work on in-season? Like do you get new pistons on Friday test one week to try out?

Yeahdoug2 karma

Literally everything. We are constantly looking at ways to improve all parts of the engine. Increasing airflow and reducing friction are the goals.

ReklinHace2 karma

NASCAR is like golf for me. I'm not a fan, but damn it's hard to change the channel once I start watching.

Yeahdoug2 karma

I know what you mean.

MrDarkFromSpace2 karma

What the most common problems you run into maintaining the car?

Yeahdoug2 karma

The cars are usually completely gone through after the race. So there isn't much to maintain. The new G6 is hard on rear axles with the new camber rules.

WH1PPA2 karma

How much pressure is on you when a race is on? Any times were you have screwed up?

Yeahdoug2 karma

Once the race is on my work has been done long ago. Haven't really screwed anything up. I'm very detail oriented.

thebeespatellas2 karma

Do the tires/suspension on one side of the car wear out faster because NASCAR only has left turns?

Yeahdoug2 karma

Yes depending on the track. Right side tires usually wear out more quickly.

AscendantJustice2 karma

How much are teams in demand for aerospace engineers? I'll be graduating in May, and the job market's not looking too good for me right now.

Yeahdoug3 karma

I can see a demand on the car side. Send some resumes out to the big teams that work on aero in the wind tunnel. The smaller teams don't have the budget for that.

AscendantJustice1 karma

I know next to nothing about NASCAR. What teams should I be looking at?

Yeahdoug2 karma

Hendrick, Gibbs, Roush, RCR, waltrip, Penske. Teams that build their own cars.

kane552 karma

My brother is a big NASCAR fan. I follow it via him and casually. The sport often has a kind of "good ole boy" feel to it. Do you believe there is a deep seeded racism/sexism in the sport among the fans or is that something that is mostly dredged up and created/hyped by the media.

The reason I ask is a while back I saw a story on CNN (I think it could have been another station) about a black driver trying to make it in NASCAR. They interviewed a decent number of fans and it seemed like there were a good number of them that were either not very happy or were acting as if they didn't care, but you could tell they just didn't want to be seen as a racist on TV.

Just curious what your thoughts on this are and if NASCAR as a league/whole is sensitive towards this or if it just something that is not spoken about.

Thanks for the AMA.

Yeahdoug2 karma

Or course there's still racism/sexism and stereotypes. NASCAR is working hard to get away from it though. As the fan base grows it will help drive diversity.

The black driver was probably Darryl (sp?) Wallace Jr. He does have some talent and I wouldn't be surprised to see him in the cup series in the next few years.

kane552 karma

I think that was the driver in the story I saw. He seemed like a good guy and the people that worked with him spoke highly of him.

I found myself wondering again about this with Danica Patrick now on the scene. Of the people I know that are NASCAR fans they seem pretty split. Some are fine with her being there, but others hate it because they think she will either be treated differently (which could happen) or, as one guy put it, he just doesn't want to see women racing.

Yeahdoug2 karma

I'm ok with anything that brings new fans into the sport.

pizzabyjake2 karma

They were outraged when a Japanese car company dared to try and compete.

Yeahdoug1 karma

They also hired a lot of people away from the big teams in NC. Pissed off a lot of the owners. Can't really blame them though.

Buddyinthecity2 karma

How much alike are the cars/engines?

Yeahdoug4 karma

The G6 car bodies are now more different. With different front bumpers and side profiles. The chassis underneath are similar. NASCAR keeps us in a tight box. The engines are probably the most different. Which is why I love them so much. I mean they are still a lot of rules but there are still a bunch of areas for us to work on.

ARKB1rd441 karma

Have you ever got to keep a tire from a NASCAR? My dad is a huge fan and do you know of any tips to get one?

Yeahdoug2 karma

No. A lot of the tires are destroyed after the race to make other things. I know some of the team shops sell used tires to fan at what I'm sure if a ripoff price. Much easier to get a tire from a NHRA drag race. They will usually give out their old tires.

ARKB1rd441 karma

Funny you say NHRA, I have a top fuel dragster rear tire.

Yeahdoug1 karma

Haha there you go.

Yeahdoug1 karma

Thanks for a fun AMA guys. Later!

bobdle1 karma


Yeahdoug2 karma

I posted my website earlier. It has pic of my three Daytona rings.

scoot23ro1 karma

who is the biggest spoiled brat in nascar and why?

Yeahdoug1 karma

Only my opinion, but I think Kyle Busch. He can frickin drive a race car, but he has done and said some things to his own team that are downright disrespectful.

GarfieldsLazierCoz1 karma

How much room for engineering is there on the car? What can you change and what can't you?

Do you get people in the teams crossing over from touring car racing like BTCC or DTM?

Is there a reason NASCAR is so fixated on oval tracks?

Do you work on a specific aspect of the engines?

Yeahdoug3 karma

It's hard to quantify how much room there is since what may seem like a lot to me might now be a lot for you. Yes we have people coming from european race series to work in Nascar. Nascar likes oval track because most of the fans can see the entire race track. They believe it provides a better fan experience.

I used to work on valve train design, now I'm involved in engine testing.

exceptionalmind1 karma

How do drivers stay focused and awake?

Yeahdoug1 karma

5 hour energy

exceptionalmind1 karma

lol. ok thanks

Yeahdoug1 karma

Wasn't sure if serious. I think it would be quite have to fall asleep in a 900 hp car traveling 200 mph. I think most drivers are able to forget about the rest of the world when they climb in their cars.

gandiesel1 karma

You based in Mooresville?

Yeahdoug3 karma

I live in the Charlotte area ;)

GameFace921 karma

Have you been accessed of using steroids?

But really, are there any PEDs widely used?

Yeahdoug2 karma

Maybe in the past. I doubt it now. Nascar's new drug testing policy would be hard to get around... well unless you're Lance.

minivan-megafun1 karma

Over the past 7-8 years, there has been a massive consolidation of engine shop resources amongst teams. In 2005, I count about 12 teams that built their own engines. Today, there are 4. Do you feel this consolidtion has hurt the sport? Did NASCAR miss the mark when they put a car ownership cap of 4 teams but did not limit how many engines a team can supply? It seems this is a big part of how Dodge ended up on the outside looking in.

Yeahdoug2 karma

It was really driven by the manufacturers. Combining resources and having to only write one check just made better financial sense. I think it was much more interesting when the teams had their own engine programs, but there isn't the money to do that anymore.

Sleek_Runner1 karma

Unsure if this has been asked already, but how does one get involved with this kind of work? I am in high school and highly interested in pursuing a career such as yours.

I imagine you went to a specific school to focus on NASCAR, but I am wondering how the whole process works.

Yeahdoug2 karma

check the link in the same question above :)

veloceracing1 karma

Is Chocolate Meyers still the coolest crew man to ever walk the planet?

Yeahdoug2 karma

From what I've listened to he is pretty cool. I wish I had stories like him. Different era though.

sophisticated_eyebro1 karma

I see you work in the engine department, but what is your specific job?

Also, do you feel that they should loosen the engine rules so that the work you guys do is more relevant to the real world?

What materials are the engines made of? Cast iron block and aluminum internals? Or can you guys use titanium parts?

Last question, what bore and stroke to you guys run?

Yeahdoug1 karma

Bore and stroke is too specific, sorry. I work in engine testing but valve train design before that. I wish they would they would do away with some of the min. Weight rules. We're going to spend all of our budget anyways.

Ti. Is allowed in some areas. Not for springs, cranks, and rods though. Mostly just for valves.

sophisticated_eyebro1 karma

When you did valve train design, what was there to do? Was it just the valve spring harmonics and strengthening parts while keeping weight down?

Yeahdoug2 karma

My focus was spring design and developing a package around new, more aggressive camshafts.

jlosito1 karma

You and the rest of your shop SCCA AutoX much?

Yeahdoug2 karma

I autocross. I don't think anybody else here does. Well wait one of my coworkers will bring out his old fsae car every once in awhile.

chihawks1 karma

do you like the track in joliet "chicagoland"? iv been told its one of the favorites of racers.

Yeahdoug1 karma

I like the are and I like 1.5 milers. So yes. I've also spent some tume at the drag strip.

TwiceBakedProduction1 karma

Teams often sell used parts on ebay after races. How simple would the parts be to install on a production engine I am looking to upgrade? Is buying a used block to install and build in my street car worth it?

Yeahdoug2 karma

As far as engine parts, the block and bare heads could be used. All the other parts usually have a finite life and I wouldn't put them in a street car.

TwiceBakedProduction1 karma

How difficult would it be to find parts that fit the block to build a running engine? How much power are these blocks rated to?

Also I've noticed transmissions for sale, safe to assume that they have no reverse gear, but would they be useful for a trackday car? Thanks for your help.

Yeahdoug2 karma

Very hard. Not worth the $$ or effort. There's no official rating on the blocks.

Transmissions do have reverse.

TwiceBakedProduction1 karma

Shame, would be fun to roll around with a NASCAR engine in a sleeper.

So they could be installed on a car, but I assume the ratios would be difficult for an engine not producing as much power.

Yeahdoug1 karma

You could probably build a tamed down SB2 for the street. 800 HP maybe.

Oprah_Nguyenfry1 karma

What are your thoughts on the fuel injection switch?

Is there any truth to Keselowski's remark?

Cars on the street are injected with real electronics, not a throttle body (like in NASCAR). So we've managed to go from 50-year-old technology to 35-year-old technology. I don't see what the big deal is."

Is he just saying it's port injected instead of direct injection?

Yeahdoug1 karma

Engines are port fuel injected.

DrunkOnUnleaded1 karma

No, the engines are TBI.

Yeahdoug1 karma

TBI was tested but it's port injected.... 8 injectors.

ayb1 karma

I was talking to a fan last night just before the last convenience store was closing and I was not sure if four cigarettes would get me though the night or if I should skip the 1/4 mile walk.

Anyway, he said he had the same problem earlier in the day ... Nascar was on and he ran out of cigarettes and said he had to think long and hard whether he wanted a fresh pack of cigarettes and miss 25 laps or give in.

What would you do if you were a smoker?

Yeahdoug1 karma

Be more prepared with a backup pack of cigs.

ValeYellow461 karma

What are your thoughts on MotoGP? Do any of the drivers or mechanics watch the races? Do you think it's a little strange that MotoGP riders race in torrential rain with just a leather race suit and armor between them and the road, yet NASCAR doesn't race in the rain at all, even with a huge cage around them?

Yeahdoug1 karma

Love motogp. Tons of passing and exciting finished. I think racing in the rain would be interesting.

amnesiasoph1 karma

What are your favourites of all the rhyming and alliterative NASCAR lingo?

Yeahdoug1 karma

I'm sorry I can't think of any right now.

SLProtoman1 karma

How has the attitude within the industry been towards Travis Pastrana trying to break into NASCAR? Has there been indifference towards his presence, has he been looked down upon since his roots didn't start in stock car racing but extreme sports, or has most of the industry welcomed him into the sport?

Yeahdoug2 karma

Mostly welcomed. It's great all the new fans he's bringing in. Plus he's been doing pretty damn good so far.

songwind1 karma

I stopped watching NASCAR a few years ago because it seemed the rules enforcement was haphazard at best, cynically money-and-popularity based at worst.

From someone closer to the action, do you feel it was as uneven as it appeared as a spectator?

Do you feel it's any more evenhanded, now?

Yeahdoug2 karma

Yes I see that sometimes the rules are enforced differently for different people/teams. Nascar has been trying to be more consistent across the board, but sometimes they still make bad calls or some that seem bias.

drew3451 karma

Do you think the new car leveled the playing field between the major teams? Also whats the deal with EGR they went from winning races to the 20s in one or two seasons did something change in there funding level?

Yeahdoug1 karma

I think it has to some degree. EGR has been struggling the past few years. I find it very interesting they switched to Hendrick engines even though they have some share in ECR engines. I can tell you apart from the failures they had, it wasn't a HP problem. Their cars were just really bad. I think being only a two car team and not being a satellite (like Stewart haus) has just put them behind.

lordsushi1 karma

Turn left Ricky Bobby!

Yeahdoug2 karma


Yeahdoug2 karma

I wanna go fast!

mcfattykins1 karma

What's one thing NASCAR could do that would make cars safer immediately?

Yeahdoug1 karma

Honestly I haven't really thought about that. From the drivers point of view they are pretty safe.

Barking_Giraffe0 karma

Does it sometimes feel unnatural to turn right when you're out on the road?

Yeahdoug3 karma

No. I turn right all the time naturally.