It’s hard to explain how experiencing NASCAR’s infield can completely change a person’s understanding the sport. The garage and pit road transform from areas that were once shown in passing by television broadcasts and squinted at through binoculars, to privates window into the inner workings of racing.
Pit road, the garage and the spotters’ stand, often, can be even more fascinating than the racing itself. Those places where the preparatory work and the behind-the-scenes stuff happens—where the crews jump out in front of 50-mph race cars and try not to get hit, where the teams make adjustments and repairs to the cars, and where the eyes in the sky tell drivers when there are other cars around them or gaining time on them. Those roles don’t get as much attention as the ones on track do, and they certainly don’t get as much television time.
So, if you’ve never experience a NASCAR race—or any kind of professional race, for that matter—from the garages, pit road or the infield, here’s your look into what goes on. Jalopnik was at Texas Motor Speedway for the Xfinity Series and Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series playoff races this past weekend, and had Brian Jones capture all of the fun sights from the areas that get roped off from the casual spectator.
Kevin Harvick won Sunday’s Cup Series race and got an automatic pass to race for the championship at Homestead Miami Speedway in two weeks, and fellow Cup Series driver Erik Jones won the Xfinity race the night before. Enjoy an album of all the goings on from Texas Motor Speedway this past weekend: