NASCAR

Wolfe gives edge to Keselowski

Walt Czarnecki, Brad Keselowski, Paul Wolfe and Roger Penske  (AP Photo/Autostock, Brian Czobat)
Brad Keselowski (second from left) and Paul Wolfe (second from right) are on a roll.
Share This Story

Jeff Hammond

Jeff Hammond is a former NASCAR crew chief who led Darrell Waltrip to two of his three Sprint Cup championships. The duo also teamed up to win the 1989 Daytona 500. Prior to that, Hammond was the jackman for Cale Yarborough for all three of his Cup championships. He has 43 Sprint Cup wins as a crew chief. Follow him on Twitter.

MORE>>
 
   
 

I’ve always believed that when you sat in that crew chief seat if you have a little bit of an understanding of what the man behind the wheel is going through, it makes it a lot easier.

DOUBLE DUTY

Dover, Las Vegas - fast tracks brought out the best in drivers. Thankfully, we've got action from both.

I deliberately went to a driving school at Buck Baker's many years ago to better understand that. Sure I love driving. I used to love to drive, but I knew I was never going to be a Cale Yarborough or a Darrell Waltrip.

But to totally understand what they were feeling going to that driving school did me a ton of good because jumping from car to car to car I understood when a driver told me, "Hey my seat ain’t comfortable," or "Hey my steering wheel is off," or "Hey the gas pedal and the brake pedal don’t exactly fit me right."

You can’t ride like that for 500 miles and think about your driving when you’re uncomfortable. You can’t do it in your passenger car.

That’s one thing that Paul Wolfe brings. He’s a former driver and he understands the cockpit side. He understands the comfort, the need for information, and he also has a really good insight into knowing how to ask the right question and I think when Brad explains it to him, since he’s driven, the picture of what the car’s doing becomes more alive, more visible.

When you can see it through your driver's explanation, then all the sudden I think it gives you an advantage on how to go about fixing it. That’s one of the things that these guys are really fortunate about. Not everybody has that luxury to have a Paul Wolfe, who was a good driver and the way the cards were dealt, he was given the opportunity to become a crew chief and he made the most of it.

So his demeanor, his understanding of the car and, more importantly, his feel and his understanding of communication is a huge advantage when it comes to solving problems, especially during race conditions.

That’s one thing he did Sunday at Dover en route to getting the win. They were getting ready to go down a lap, Kyle Busch had him in his sights, then they got a caution, made an adjustment and from there on out they were in position to take advantage of a good race car, fast pit crew and a very determined driver.

More Stories From Jeff Hammond

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by



NASCAR Videos

Larry’s Notebook: Is Jimmie Johnson Behind the Curve? Posted: Jul 15, 2014
Larry McReynolds weighs in on whether or not the No. 48 will be at a disadvantag...

Larry’s Notebook: Off-Week Blues Posted: Jul 15, 2014
Larry McReynolds weighs in on which teams will benefit the most from the week of...

Winner's Weekend: Brad Keselowski Unstoppable at Loudon Posted: Jul 15, 2014
The biggest issue the No. 2 team faced at Loudon was where to hide the champagne...

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    Chase Authentics Danica Patrick Big Rig Tri-Blend T-Shirt - Charcoal http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Danica_Patrick/browse/featuredproduct/974547/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_974000/ff_974547_xl.jpg&w=100 26.95 Chase Authentics Danica Patrick Big Rig Tri-Blend T-Shirt - Charcoal
    Kyle Busch One Spot Gauge T-Shirt - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Kyle_Busch/browse/featuredproduct/1011659/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1011000/ff_1011659_xl.jpg&w=100 19.95 Kyle Busch One Spot Gauge T-Shirt - Black
    Matt Kenseth One Spot Gauge T-Shirt - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Matt_Kenseth/browse/featuredproduct/1011661/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1011000/ff_1011661_xl.jpg&w=100 9.99 Matt Kenseth One Spot Gauge T-Shirt - Black
    Chase Authentics Carl Edwards 2013 Driver Schedule T-Shirt - Ash http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Carl_Edwards/browse/featuredproduct/1041164/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1041000/ff_1041164_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Chase Authentics Carl Edwards 2013 Driver Schedule T-Shirt - Ash