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Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About The #39 Hauler

Every week we tune in to the race and watch our favorite driver do their best to beat out the other 42 racers.

How often do you stop and wonder how the car actually gets to the racetrack?

I mean, football teams take planes.

How do you get a 3,450 lb car from the FedEx 400 in Dover, DE to the Pocono 400 in Long Pond, PA in under a week?

Simple. The hauler.

This past weekend, Josh Katz, Showcar Program Manager for Stewart-Haas Racing, took me inside, outside, and on top of the #39 hauler. I was able to take pictures of some things. Other proprietary stuff had to remain top secret. Can’t leak the ingredients in the secret sauce, folks.

But I can still show you some pretty cool stuff.


The black cab of the hauler is a 2011 Peterbilt 389. It’s an interesting situation how the race teams get this muscle.

“It’s a sponsorship,” said Katz. “We get the cabs for 3 years from Rush Peterbilt, turn them in after, and they resell them.”

Josh also confirmed that no one has purchased the #39 cab yet. There’s still time to buy it!

This particular cab is a little more decked out than average. Complete with custom sleeper, shower, bathroom, bunks, kitchen, and satellite TV. It’s literally meant for the long haul.

Typically, hauler drivers will arrive at the tracks on Thursday before the race and stay in the cab, not joining the race team in hotels until they arrive on Friday.


The back of the hauler opens up and forms a second level, which then provides access to the top of the rig.

Hanging out on practice days you’d find Tony Gibson and John Klausmeier (crew chief and race engineer, respectively). They climb up and down multiple times, watching practice, comparing lap times, communicating with Ryan, and then hustling back to the garage to squeeze every last drop of speed out of the #39 Chevy.

Also, you’ll notice #27 of Menard’s Racing and the #55 Aaron’s Dream Machine hauler flanking the US Army/Quicken Loans hauler. The parking order is determined by the current point standings. Being the reigning champ, Tony Stewart’s hauler is always parked in the first position, then the rest fall in line by current standings. This week, Ryan’s neighbors will be Carl Edwards and Kasey Kahne.


No self-respecting article about the #39 hauler could leave out one of it’s most famous addition.

The hot dog machine!

It’s a track staple. And not just amongst the #39 team. As you can see from the picture, it is clearly approved by NASCAR officials. And although I didn’t snap a picture of it, crew members from all the race teams swing by when they’re hungry and grab a hot dog.

Katz said the hot dog machine goes to all the tracks except one.

Martinsville.

Apparently the hot dogs at Martinsville are LEGENDARY. The #39 team has a contest on who can eat the most Martinsville hot dogs, with pit crewman Shawn Warren holding the current record.

Josh: What’s the record, Shawn? 24? 25?
Shawn: Man, you’re selling me short. The record is 39.
Me: That seems to be fitting.


The double back doors slide open to reveal the heart of the hauler. Running almost the entire, the hallway is lined on either side by cabinets and work spaces.

When the hauler is completely packed and ready to go, this hallway virtually disappears. Every inch is needed and utilized.

Immediately to the left is a kitchen area, complete with microwave, coffee maker, bowl of candy, bowl of fruit, and drawers with utensils and some average first aid stuff (think sunscreen, headache and upset stomach remedies).

Immediately to the right holds the pit crew guys’ lockers where they can store personal items. I found out that the pit crew usually doesn’t travel to the track until race day. They fly in early on race day and sometimes put an 18-20 hour day. WOW!

A little further down holds the firesuits, always specific to whoever the primary sponsor is that week.

When the hauler returns to the race shop, they’ll pick up the freshly dry-cleaned uniforms and stock up.

The next cabinets were tall, almost six feet high. Inside holds replacement parts for the #39 car specific to that week’s race. The picture I snapped shows the parts for the race in Dover.

These giant part cabinets are outfitted with rolling casters. When the hauler pulls into the shop after Dover, identical cabinets with parts specific for Pocono are ready and waiting. One set is rolled out, the other rolled in.

It was at this point in the tour that things got very cryptic. I was able to look, but not photograph.

The next set of cabinets held the bigger, more essential parts of the car. A spare transmission. All the possible different springs the team could ever need. Like I said earlier, the ingredients for the secret sauce.

And I’m not one to spill the beans. You’ll have to take my word for it. The hauler is one big mobile racing garage. When it’s all said and done, it holds almost 3 complete race cars.

Wait a sec. 3 complete race cars? What gives?

That leads us right to the next section of the tour.


Completely hidden above the center hallway of the hauler, sits two Sprint Cup Series race cars. Every week, the #39 team brings one car to compete, and one backup car in case something happens to the first one in qualifying or practice.

(Primary Car + Backup Car + Tons of Spare Parts = Almost 3 whole cars. See. Fuzzy math.)

Josh lowered some innocuous looking hooks that turned out to be footholds and clambered up to the upper level of the hauler. He cleared some bags away and then invited me to take a look.

It was very impressive.

Granted the backup car wasn’t in the hauler that day (it was waiting just outside the track to be whisked away to Pocono Raceway for testing the instant they knew Ryan wouldn’t need it this coming weekend), the area was still awesome.

You can see in the picture it’s a huge space.

It’s also where the team stores the gas cans.

The level that is used to get up to the top of the hauler during qualifying and practice also doubles as the lift that gets the cars in and out of the massive space.

 

 


Finally, in the very rear of the hauler, closest to the cab, there is a command center. Again, there was some proprietary stuff that we had to keep super secret, hence the weird angle of the picture.

The gentleman in the picture is looking at a bank of monitors. I know the monitors can display anything from race data, to footage, to weather patterns.

Also, it can be used as a conference room, and an escape from inclement weather.


At the end of the day, a race team also has to be a professional shipping company, following all US Department of Transportation regulations and delivering their goods in a timely manner. Sounds like even a big job for a company that doesn’t have to worry about capturing checkered flags on race day.

In one season, the hauler will have traveled 68,000 miles all over this great country.

Wow.

What do you think, race fans? Pretty cool stuff!

Let us know where else we can take you behind the scenes.

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23 Responses to Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About The #39 Hauler

  1. Dawn Clark June 7, 2012 at 1:13 pm #

    Who won the contest?

    • Joel Jarvi June 7, 2012 at 1:37 pm #

      Dawn – Can you believe the first winner we selected for the Quicken Loans YOU’RE THE BOSS Sweepstakes turned down the prize?? CRAZY!
      I know a new winner has been selected, contacted, and we’re working through paperwork.
      Hopefully they don’t turn down the prize, too!
      Make sure you like us on Facebook and as soon as all the t’s are crossed and i’s dotted, we’ll announce the winner’s name!
      Have a great day!

      • Carol Wine-Bucklew June 7, 2012 at 3:42 pm #

        That crazy person. I wanted to win it so bad. I had already invisioned chasing Ryan around the desk a couple of times. oops. did I say that out loud. Hey thrid times a charm give me a call. I would love to be Ryan Newman’s boss.

        • laurie matthews June 7, 2012 at 4:03 pm #

          And I thought I was the only crazy fan… I love what you said.If you win or I win we shoul take each other then we can corner him..LOL.. Laurie…

  2. Janet Bruning June 7, 2012 at 1:19 pm #

    I still prefer the motorhome for shelter at the tracks. It is interesting to see the hauler, but looks too small of space for me.

  3. David June 7, 2012 at 1:31 pm #

    Joel, cool tour of the truck. I knew that they were there (at a race) and knew that they carried EVERYTHING, so it was really fun to see the “innerds” of it. thanks for the tour.

    • Joel Jarvi June 7, 2012 at 1:38 pm #

      David – Thanks for the read, sir! It really is a cool piece of engineering and space management.
      Have a great day!

  4. Joey June 7, 2012 at 1:42 pm #

    Hi.. Wishing Ryan the best in his next race..Thats pretty cool with the hauler..Gets tons of stuff inside..I know it has to get hecktic, on the roads.. Be safe all and Hope you all have a great season

  5. Marilyn June 7, 2012 at 1:46 pm #

    I want to know who the winner of the Quicken Loans “Who’s the Boss” contest is first ???

    • Joel Jarvi June 7, 2012 at 1:51 pm #

      Marilyn – We’re all really excited to announce the new winner, but we’re still working through some paperwork. Can you believe that the first person who won turned down the prize? We couldn’t believe it!
      Make sure you like us on Facebook because when we can finally release the winner’s name, it’ll be there first.
      Hope you have a fantastic day!

  6. Helen Gallamore June 7, 2012 at 1:50 pm #

    Thanks for the tour. enjoyed seeing the inside of the hauler. Enjoy watching Ryan race.

    • Joel Jarvi June 7, 2012 at 1:53 pm #

      Helen – Thanks for reading! We’re pretty partial to Ryan, too. He’s a great driver and an even better person.
      Have an excellent day!

  7. dee June 7, 2012 at 2:27 pm #

    I loved the tour , Being a female in the Towing & recover industry , it added more intrigue and excitement in my business ideas . Thanks a bunch luff you guys
    Dee

    • Joel Jarvi June 7, 2012 at 3:09 pm #

      Glad you enjoyed the article, Dee!

  8. Doug June 7, 2012 at 2:45 pm #

    As I am a over the road truck driver the hauler looks very cool i wish i had the chance to drive it to a race

  9. Rodney Qualls June 7, 2012 at 2:54 pm #

    Great tour of the hauler! good Luck with the rest of the season!!! Win Ryan Win !!!

  10. Steev R June 7, 2012 at 3:00 pm #

    Great feature, I’ve been amost everywhere at the track, except inside the hauler so I can now cross that one off the bucket list. By the way, if the next person refuses the prize, then pease call me. I been out of work for 2 years and would go in the drop of a hat (will even drive myself and friends, ha ha )

  11. Doc June 7, 2012 at 3:29 pm #

    I am in shock someone turned down a win in a contest by QL, I would like to see a tour of the shop. Thanks. Go Ryan and Tony

  12. Nancy June 7, 2012 at 4:45 pm #

    Loved the tour. Always wondered what the hauler looked like inside. I was at Dover this weekend . What a great track. Go Ryan this coming week in PA.

  13. alan shepherd June 7, 2012 at 6:59 pm #

    great tour i was wanting to win the contest it would be cool to be ryans boss for a day and to spend the weekend with him and tony go ryan go

  14. William Flynn June 9, 2012 at 1:39 am #

    Having been a Race Fan for over 60 years, I hoped that a maricle might allow me to win the contest.

    My father, owned and drove race cars (1948-49) Since that time I could be seen at almost every track in the Northeast. I have been to tracks in N.Y., Vt., Mass., Conn., N.J.., Pa., Md., N.C. S.C..,Ga.,Fla., Nev.

    My father and I had seats on the top row of the Tower across from the entrance to pit road, at Daytona for several years. After 1981, we stopped ordering the tickets, because I had to work. I’m sorry I didn’t keep ordering the tickets, because I’ll never be able to buy those tickets again in my lifetime

    I watched many of the NASCAR Drivers Race their way to Success.

  15. DAVID June 11, 2012 at 11:03 am #

    Heck I would have love to win too! I would love to get to use the Trailor it could carry most of my racing league. I race Dwarf cars and it could haul 4 to 8 of our cars.

  16. WILL June 11, 2012 at 8:11 pm #

    VERRY GOOD SET ON THE HAULER WOULD LIKE SOME PICS OF THE INSIDE THE TRACTOR THANX

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