With the season over a little about NASCAR’s Air Tool History
Even though we specialize in air compressors, we are also a proud Master Distributor of Ingersoll Rand’s Tools & Hoists equipment. Our distributor has a long and interesting history with NASCAR. What follows is a little history of the introduction of air tools in the pits. Before we go into the history lets discover a little perspective on the importance of air tools today. Here is a crew chief’s explanation of what occurs.
“A typical pit stop requires changing four tires and filling the car with 22 gallons of racing fuel. In order to do that we use IR Thunderguns to remove 20 lug nuts, pull off four hot 75-pound Goodyear Eagles, slam four new Eagles onto the hubs and reinstall 20 lug nuts while a guy empties two 11-gallon cans of fuel weighing 100 pounds apiece into the fuel cell. Our challenge is to accomplish this task in 14 seconds or less. If you lose 1/10th of a second in a pit stop, you lose two places on the racetrack. If you lose 2/10ths, that’s 60 feet on the racetrack and you’re out of the lead draft. That can cost you a race and a championship.”
For over fifty years Ingersoll-Rand Impacts has had a home in the racing pits. In 1959, Howard Hurd Pit Tools and Equipment (Ingersoll-Rand’s racing tool distributor) was at the Daytona International Speedway for its grand opening. By the following year Ingersoll-Rand’s 405 impact tools were firmly established in the pits. The 405 was the impact tool that revolutionized NASCAR pit stop tire changing. It dominated the pits until the early 70s.
In 1972 Ingersoll-Rand engineers released their next generation design of an impact tool; the famed “twin hammer.” The Ingersoll Rand 231 was the first Impact tool released with a twin hammer impact mechanism, and so widely accepted that it became the best-selling impact wrench of all-time. More professional mechanics take advantage of the 231’s robustness than any other tool of its type in the world.
In 1980 in honor of the legendary Cale Yarborough the engineers adapted an Ingersoll Rand 231 to increase its speed of operation. It received the moniker, “fastest gun around.” Soon almost every major Winston Cup crew embraced the modified version of the 231 throughout the 1980s and into the early 1990s.
In 1995, Ingersoll Rand entered into a relationship with Ray Evernham, Crew Chief for Jeff Gordon and the “Rainbow Warriors” pit crew. Ray helped Ingersoll Rand introduce the Thunder Gun, the latest generation of pit stop tire changing tools in 1998. The Thunder Gun offers the highest performance available on the racing circuit today.
We at Air Centers of Florida are proud of our connection to Ingersoll Rand and its history with NASCAR. Besides having the best Impact Tool in the industry, Ingersoll Rand offers a complete line of air tools, hoists, ergo handling equipment and air starters. Why not contact us today to learn more.
Call 866-455-4774 or go to http://www.floridaairtools.com/ to learn more.