NASCAR

State Farm Safety Mail: NASA keeps NASCAR drivers cool

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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.

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Pete from Sioux Falls, S.D.: How do drivers deal with the intense heat that the cars generate during a race? Jeff Hammond: The exhaust temperatures underneath the race cars can reach over 1,000 degrees. To try to keep the drivers more comfortable inside, NASCAR has taken some technology away from NASA. The heat shields that NASA uses to protect guys when they're riding around in the Space Shuttle are now used in race cars. They go between the floor board and the exhaust system to try to reduce that heat.
Safety Mail Jeff

Steaming hot

S. Lauder from Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada: Jeff, I watched the Busch race from Texas and saw Kasey Kahne come in for a pit stop. Someone noted that there was steam coming from the right-hand side of the car (overflow). Don't the jackmen get a little worried when they have to move through all that steam? I kinda think it would be a little hot!!!!! Jeff Hammond: As long as it's not blowing straight on you, you ignore it. It's really not that big a deal as long as it's blowing straight up which is where we try to blow it anyway.


FOX race analyst Jeff Hammond led Darrell Waltrip to two of DW's three Winston Cup championships as his crew chief. They also teamed to win the 1989 Daytona 500.

For autographed copies of Jeff Hammond's new book "Real Men Work in the Pits" plus magnets, hats and more, check out www.dwstore.com.

For photos and appearances, visit Jeff's web site www.jeffhammond.com.

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