NASCAR’s Garage 56 team marked its first victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance classic.
The Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) selects Garage 56 as the entry for “technology of tomorrow and beyond” of the most cutting-edge equipment.
This year, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet, IMSA, and Goodyear have joined forces to create the Next Gen Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 race car, which serves as NASCAR’s entry. Despite the fact that it is essentially in a league of its own and cannot win, it will compete at the endurance event this weekend.
The entry’s Hendrick pit crew was the only team using a manual jack in the field of competitors, yet they still outperformed 16 rivals in the GTE class to take home the victory in Tuesday’s test where they also ranked fifth overall.
Northwest AMR was outperformed by the five-person crew by 0.12 seconds as they changed four Goodyear Eagle tires in 10.364 seconds. Just 0.3 seconds separated them from the top ranking team as they took fifth place overall.
The crew consists of Donovan Williams who is the jackman, Dawson Backus, Mike Moss, Cody French and Jarius Morehead as the tyre changers for the front and back tires.
They are all NASCAR Cup Series crew for HMS and it was the team’s first experience working in a competitive environment together, which is even more remarkable.
“It was actually our fastest stop of the day, so I would say I was surprised, but also very pleased,” said Hendrick’s pit crew coach Evan Kureczka.
“You can tell the fans were very impressed with the fact that we were using a jack to jack the car up… You could see the smiles on their faces, we put on a great show for the fans.”
“Over the past eight months we’ve put this team together and we’ve rolled with them the entire time and knew this is what we were going to bring to Le Mans, but we had to get them up to speed together.”
The 100th running of the iconic endurance race will take place this weekend, and the 2009 Formula 1 World Champion Jenson Button, Jimmie Johnson, and Mike Rockenfeller will all be operating the NASCAR Garage 56 car.