Pit Carts of NASCAR

Pit Carts of NASCAR

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            NASCAR’s ‘Speedweeks’ is in full swing once again; with the CLASH kicking off side-by-side racing action at Daytona in headline-busting fashion. Among the usual noise, speed, glitz, and glamour that comes along with The Great American Race, happenings behind pit wall aren’t going unnoticed. In the past quarter-century, the humble pit cart has largely gone unnoticed in the eyes of the general viewing audience of major motorsports sanctions such as NASCAR, among others. Indeed, pit carts have evolved over the years to resemble something like a mobile headquarters, as opposed to simply a big toolbox.

            In general, NASCAR teams utilize two main pit boxes at the racetrack; one located in the garage, and one deployed on pit lane. The ‘garage pit box’ much more closely resembles something found in the service bay of your local master mechanic, however, it’s packed with technology designed to display race data on built-in TV screens, provide electrical distribution, and even a worktop with specialized compartments to accommodate aerosols, lubrication products, and much more. CTech’s Garage Box, aptly named, has provided a turn-key garage pit box solution for some of the industry’s top competitors, such as Team Penske, Richard Childress Racing, Chip Ganassi Racing, Stewart – Haas Racing, and many more. The Garage Box is designed to simply roll off the transporter and go to work with minimal setup.

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Pit carts found along pit lane are decidedly larger and more complex than those found in the garage, and for good measure. With all the efforts of competing in a NASCAR race culminating at the drop of the green flag, carts behind pit wall must support “all hands on deck” and more. Even if pit lane is closed, it’s a very busy place. Engineers are crunching numbers and adjusting race strategies, crewmembers are preparing tires, fuel, and equipment for upcoming pit stops, media is swarming, and sponsors and other special guests are looking over the entire operation. If you’re going to have a pit cart behind the wall at a time like that, it has to serve all of those purposes.

The original ULTRA Cart, developed by CTech in the early 2000’s, was the first pit cart of its kind to incorporate an expandable observation deck. With the addition of dedicated workspace for engineers, crew chiefs, and owners, pit carts completed a fundamental leap in evolution. Additional sponsorship representation was also made available to track-facing panels of the cart. Just like that, pit carts were no longer monstrous toolboxes, but well-equipped workstations packed with technology. As the years went on, more technology was packed into the cart chassis, and the use of pit carts as a marketing platform became ever more important.

As the business of motorsport has evolved, pit carts have become larger and more complex than anyone could have imagined, and for good measure. With the age of information transforming racing itself, pit carts are now responsible for not only storing tools and equipment, but also to:

·        Support a growing team of engineers AND their data

·        Provide hospitality to special guests, owners, and sponsors

·        Boost promotional space

·        Distribute liquid, electrical, networking, and pneumatic systems

Indeed, the ‘team’ aspect of racing is more important than ever and having the right equipment to manage those physical and digital assets on pit lane is the difference between finishing in the front of the pack and finishing at the back. CTech’s original ULTRA Cart, the first pit cart with an expandable observation deck, sparked a revolution in pit lane storage. Now, the ULTRA Cart Dual-Deck is here to revolutionize and re-imagine pit lane once again. The single largest, most complex pit cart ever constructed is making its stock car racing debut at the hands of Premium Motorsports; who’s intending to embark on a strong Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series campaign with driver Ross Chastain.

The new ULTRA Cart Dual-Deck (UCDD) makes several fundamental improvements to the original ULTRA Cart design; the first and most obvious is the addition of a second expandable deck. This allows for more engineer workspaces, and more hospitality space for visiting sponsors and guests. More promotional space is also made available across the front of the cart, thanks to easily interchangeable display panels that are attached to the front railing. The second and less obvious design tweak is the orientation of the cart. All pit carts to date have been positioned parallel to the pit wall. The UCDD chassis has been spun 90-degrees to sit perpendicular to pit lane. This has been done for two main reasons:

·        To provide clearer, faster, and safer access between the rear of the pit box and pit wall, and vice-versa, for crewmembers

·        To facilitate space for the additional deck

Mounted on the lower level of the UCDD chassis is a wider array of monitors and TV screens, expanded worktop areas, and more storage than ever before. On previous ULTRA carts, a portion of the cart’s body was inevitably reserved for workstation space. With the new design, the observation deck doesn’t utilize any prospective storage space in the chassis. This new pit cart isn’t just a revision of the original ULTRA cart, it’s a re-imagination of pit lane. It cements the notion that pit carts aren’t just big toolboxes anymore, but well-equipped mobile headquarters. IMSA has already seen this exciting new cart in action, now it’s NASCAR’s turn! Be on the lookout during this weekend’s Daytona events, you wont be able to miss the new cart on pit lane!

NTEA The Work Truck Show 2019 Preview

The biggest show in the work/service truck industry is only one month away! We’ve got a host of exciting things going on in the booth this year; from interactive technology, special guests, and of course the latest developments in mobile storage technology!

               The NTEA Work Truck Show is North America’s largest work truck event, with over 500 exhibitors and 13,000 attendees descending upon the Indianapolis Convention Center to learn about the industry’s latest advancements. Truck and van manufacturers commonly take the center stage, as newer, more capable, and more efficient models inevitably roll out. As an industry leader in drawer manufacturing, The Work Truck Show is a great opportunity for CTech Manufacturing to show working professionals how to take their vehicle’s storage systems to the next level. Tool drawers and mobile cabinets will represent the bulk of our display models, equipped with the newest innovations in storage technology.

Palfinger Lift Body Equipped With CTech Tool Drawer Units

Our recent 80,000 square foot expansion and new R&D center enable us to provide a better product, with quicker lead times, alongside better service than anyone in the industry. The show is the perfect place for us to showcase those developments as well. Aside from demonstration products, we will also have an interactive catalog experience, utilizing state-of-the-art touchscreen TVs. We will also have quick, easy, and accessible quoting tablets loaded with our full catalog of over 175 pre-configured tool drawer units, designed to provide turn-key drawer solutions for owners of popular service bodies such as Knapheide, Palfinger, IMT, Auto Crane, BrandFx, Norstar, and Royal.

               To headline our booth activities at this years’ show; we’re extremely thankful to be welcoming back Juan Ibarra, from Discovery Channel’s hit show ‘Gold Rush’! Juan has been with us in the booth in years past, and as a CTech Tool Drawer user himself, he knows the value of well-built tool drawers. A little bit about this Gold Rush star; he’s a Heavy Equipment Mechanic and Expert Welder/Fabricator from Reno, Nevada best known for his roll as Hoffman’s mechanic in the beloved Discovery Channel show. For those of you unfamiliar with Gold Rush, it follows a selection of mining companies through the rough business of gold mining. Juan is one of the most hardworking folks we’ve had the pleasure of meeting, and we’re thrilled to have him back with us this year. He will be making appearances at the CTech booth during the times and dates posted below. Juan will be available to sign autographs and meet with show-goers at those times:

CTech Manufacturing Booth #319

March 6 (Wednesday): 10AM - Noon

March 7 (Thursday): 10AM – Noon

THANK YOU ALL!

Happy Thanksgiving Eve from everybody at CTech Manufacturing! 🦃 2018 has been a whirlwind of a year for us, as I’m sure it’s been for nearly everyone else. We’ve taken many big steps as a company, and none of it would have been possible without our incredible customers, dealers, employees and partners! From a major building expansion, to the debut of a brand new product, we’re ecstatic to see what 2019 has in store.

It’s been very inspiring to see our at one time ‘planned’ building expansion slowly come to fruition. The increased capacity, and added equipment it’s brought along with it has already helped us stay multiple steps ahead of our competitors during a major surge of business. As we close out the year, our lead times continue to shrink while our competitors fall further behind. CTech Manufacturing is an industry-leading manufacturer, and we’re better prepared than ever to provide superior service and unbeatable products to new and future customers.

In just two short weeks, we will be unveiling a brand-new product at the Performance Racing Industry show in Indianapolis, Indiana. Everyone who’s watched a NASCAR race has inevitably seen our Ultra Cart in action along pit lane, including the Monster Energy NASCAR championship-winning Team Penske and Joey Logano’s pit! This year, we’re flexing our innovative engineering and design might by debuting our new Dual-Deck Ultra Cart. This cart will revolutionize the ‘pit lane experience’ for professionals, owners, sponsors, and special guests alike. Be sure to stay tuned to our Facebook page December 6-8 to catch the first glimpse of it in real life!

You see, we’ve got a lot to be excited about! Luckily, before the big show we’ve got a couple days to reflect on things and let you know that we wouldn’t have been able to do it without you!

CTech Manufacturing PRI Preview 2018

It’s already been 25 years since Jim Greenheck started CTech Manufacturing, and although we’ve grown to serve many different industries over the years, we never forgot our racing heritage. With the 31st annual Performance Racing Industry trade show only one month away, we’re looking forward to kicking off our 25th year in a big way!

The PRI show features 1,100 industry-leading companies who offer the latest and greatest racing & engineering products. CTech has been attending PRI for many years, and every year we do something to improve our presence at the show and better engage with attendants. Among our new attractions and activities, the debut of our brand new dual-deck Ultra Cart will serve as a shining centerpiece for our busy booth. Pushing the limits of innovation and manufacturing, this groundbreaking cart will sit high and mighty, fully expanded for all to see.

CTech booth visitors will also have the opportunity to enter our product giveaway drawings. We’re planning on giving away one Service Cart per day, along with three BlackLine Accessories. Visitors will also be able to engage with our new 3-D interactive product catalog, and a wide variety of our standard products from our cart, cabinet, and tool drawer product lines.

We will be located deep in the Green Hall, booth #2625 near Motor State Distributing and Cometic Gaskets. We hope you’ll join us for this exciting gathering of technology and racing expertise!

CTech will be located at the blue dot!

CTech will be located at the blue dot!

Blackdog Speed Shop Finds a New Home

SCCA World Challenge Champions and CTECH proponents, Blackdog Speed Shop, recently outgrew their 20,000 square foot race shop and moved to a brand new facility just on the other end of the block. The move comes after a tumultuous 2018 racing season, in which the Blackdog team secured the GTS Sprint Team Title in the highly competitive Pirelli World Challenge Championship series.

The new facility residing in Lincolnshire, Illinois, is roughly triple the size of their old shop. With their full-service Hot Rod shop in high demand, in addition to recent growth in the racing program, moving was unavoidable. The new space is configured to comfortably host Blackdog’s three major divisions; the racing team, customer-dedicated Hot Rod shop, and performance vehicle dealership, all under one roof. The Hot Rod shop features a full-size dynamometer, alignment bench, ample machine shop, and plenty of well-equipped workspace to provide speed shop services to a growing customer base. Blackdog currently offers speed shop services ranging from basic maintenance, to custom fabrication and ‘turn-key’ vehicle building.  

The race shop’s dedicated area features more than enough workspace to support the team’s current two-car effort as well as ‘arrive and drive’ programs. Trailers and transporters are also accommodated in the new space, along with an engine room to keep their 6.2-liter Chevrolet small block V8s in prime condition for the racing season.

Of course, investing in new storage furnishings and equipment is also inevitable with the size of Blackdog’s expansion. Incredibly, all of the CTECH cabinets that the team had installed in their previous facility have moved along with them into the new building! However, new cabinets and countertop units needed to be commissioned to fully equip the expanded Hot Rod shop, and the services that go along with it. Each stall in the shop is surrounded by three individual Ultra Series cabinet/countertop units. Each provides ample, and adjustable storage for parts and equipment. The GasketLoc countertops on each unit are built to whithstand the rigors of automotive work, as well as keep spills contained to the surface of the counter.

We were lucky enough to have been invited to the open house and ribbon cutting for the new Blackdog Speed Shop headquarters. There were plenty of cool collector cars, as well as racecars, on display, which really looked impressive alongside all the shiny new cabinets! Safe to say, Blackdog now has one of the best looking and well equipped shops around!