Timeout: NASCAR teams savor off-week ahead of grueling stretch
JUL 16, 2014 1:34p ET
Believe it or not, this is the last week off of the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup season. Trust me, everybody benefits from having this week off. Just think about those drivers of the transporters. They are pretty much burned to the ground by now. They've had a pretty tough stretch of races recently when you think about Pocono, Michigan, Kentucky, down to Daytona and then back up to New Hampshire.
So they get a much-needed break. Even the shop guys get a break because the pressure is off for a little bit of time. It doesn't mean you stop preparing, but it means you don't have to be ready at a moment's notice to get a replacement car to the racetrack after one has been wrecked.
It's an even greater benefit to the road crew to have this weekend off. The pressure is off and you get a chance to clear your head somewhat. They've obviously been on the road week after week, but don't forget they've also been at the shop doing pit training. So across the board it gives everybody a chance to take a step back, decompress and literally sleep in your own bed over the weekend, which in the sport of NASCAR is a rarity.
So the pressure is off this week and this weekend. They all need to and will savor it -- trust me. As I mentioned earlier, this is literally the last off-weekend of our season. Starting next weekend at Indianapolis, we begin a grueling 17-week run. If that wasn't enough pressure, well, for 16 teams they have 10 of those 17 weeks ramped up even more in competing for the 2014 championship.