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CHIPS Articles: Navy and NASCAR

Navy and NASCAR
A high-tech team on the road to excellence
By JO1 Sonja Chambers, Navy Recruiting Command Public Affairs Office - April-June 2006
Today's U.S. Navy is the most high-tech navy in the world. In addition to being a technology leader, the U.S. Navy is known for its pride in professionalism and teamwork — qualities which are also evident in NASCAR.

The Navy and Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s JR Motorsports (JRM) have brought similar cultures of teamwork and high-tech excellence together in pursuit of victory in NASCAR's 2006 Busch Series.

To get this partnership up and running takes a trained group of mechanics, engineers and information technology professionals very similar to a team of Navy Sailors who work to keep ships and aircraft running smoothly.

The scope of engineering and technology skills used for mission success by the Navy and NASCAR spans nearly every high-tech discipline.

Mechanical engineering helps NASCAR engines achieve 700-plus horsepower at 9,700 rpm for 500 miles. Micro-tolerances and near perfect metallurgy are achieved through sophisticated testing methods.

These rigorous methods are similar to those used to produce reliability in high performance Navy aircraft, marine gas turbines and nuclear propulsion components. In addition, aerospace engineering helps race cars and Navy aircraft achieve maximum performance through wind tunnel testing and computer-aided design.

NASCAR rules require that their cars remain stock in appearance, but advanced aerodynamics play a role in reducing wind drag and improving safety. High-speed airflow creates aerodynamic factors that JRM technicians and Navy aviation technicians must understand, and harness for performance and safety advantage.

NASCAR engine builders, much like Navy propulsion and aircraft power plant engineers, test and analyze a variety of synthetic lubricating fluids that provide optimum performance. Custom formulations are being continually chemically-engineered to achieve reliability and speed gains under competitive conditions, and for the Navy, under combat conditions where losing is not an option.

Both Navy and JRM information technology professionals are the heart and soul of the operation. During a race, pit row computers help the JRM team make rapid operational decisions based on data such as tire wear, fuel loads, track conditions, weather and engine sensors.

Navy engineers and combat systems technicians use computer technology in a similar way to monitor critical system performance for battlespace dominance.

As the Navy and NASCAR team grows stronger, the Sailors and JRM technicians that make up the team show that anything can be accomplished with pride, world-class training and teamwork.

For more information go to the Navy Recruiting Command Web site at http://www.cnrc.navy.mil/.

TAGS: ITAM, Workforce
Daytona, Fla. (Feb. 15, 2006) - Members of JR Motorsports push the No. 88 Navy “Accelerate Your Life” Chevrolet Monte Carlo to pit row before practice at the Daytona International Speedway. U.S. Navy photo by Chief Photographer’s Mate Chris Desmond.
Daytona, Fla. (Feb. 15, 2006) - Members of JR Motorsports push the No. 88 Navy “Accelerate Your Life” Chevrolet Monte Carlo to pit row before practice at the Daytona International Speedway. U.S. Navy photo by Chief Photographer’s Mate Chris Desmond.

El Centro, Calif. (Feb. 27, 2006) - Aviation Machinist’s Mate 1st Class Patrick Palma, left, and U.S. Marine Sgt. Deo Harrypersaud, right, prepare Busch Series NASCAR driver Mark McFarland, prior to a VIP demonstration flight with the U.S. Navy flight demonstration team, “Blue Angels,” on board Naval Air Facility El Centro. McFarland, is the No. 88 driver for the U.S. Navy’s “Accelerate Your Life” Chevrolet Monte Carlo. Team owner and Nextel Cup driver Dale Earnhardt Jr., also received a VIP flight, and took time for an autograph session with Sailors and Marines on board the Air Facility. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate 2nd Class Patricia R. Totemeier.
El Centro, Calif. (Feb. 27, 2006) - Aviation Machinist’s Mate 1st Class Patrick Palma, left, and U.S. Marine Sgt. Deo Harrypersaud, right, prepare Busch Series NASCAR driver Mark McFarland, prior to a VIP demonstration flight with the U.S. Navy flight demonstration team, “Blue Angels,” on board Naval Air Facility El Centro. McFarland, is the No. 88 driver for the U.S. Navy’s “Accelerate Your Life” Chevrolet Monte Carlo. Team owner and Nextel Cup driver Dale Earnhardt Jr., also received a VIP flight, and took time for an autograph session with Sailors and Marines on board the Air Facility. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate 2nd Class Patricia R. Totemeier.
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