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How IndyCar pit crews prepare all year long for the Indianapolis 500

Posted at 6:45 AM, May 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-13 06:45:15-04

INDIANAPOLIS — There’s much more than what you see on race day when it comes to being a member of an IndyCar pit crew.

Committed, competitive, calm and little crazy. Those are just some of the traits it takes to be a successful pit crew member.

WRTV worked with a crew from Andretti Autosport’s to see what the year leading up to race day looks like.

“The Indy 500 is something that that's what your focus is on 365 days of the year,” Josh Freund, IndyCar team manager, said.

Prepping physically, mentally and mechanically, the guys working in pit lane never stop.

While they are mechanics first, they’re also professional athletes.

“This is professional sports. We don't have Bo Jackson running around out here but we have guys that are committed in here that want to work and do want to get better want to be successful,” Ryan Galloy, the strength and pit stop performance coach for Andretti Autosport’s, said.

While a lot of the moves you’ll see them doing in the gym are standard, Galloy puts them through moves they may see on race day.

“We're pushing tires around using the hips because that's something they would have to do in the stop,” Galloy said.

After they wrap up their hour-long workout they had back to the shop for pit stop practice.

“You know the biggest thing is trying to switch gears a little bit, right? The guys are, you know, the same guys that you see go over the wall on race day, are the same guys that are working on the car all weekend or back at the shop,” Freund said.

Freund was an over-the-wall guy for more than 20 years.

“It's a lot of wear and tear and we go through a lot of injuries but at the end of the day there's nothing better than adrenaline rush,” Freund said.

The rush of kneeling next to a car as it comes at you at least 60 miles per hour.

“You know you have to be you have to have the competitiveness. You have to have the fire to wanna be the best and go for the win,” Freund said.