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The unscripted series "Race For The Championship," premiering on USA Network on Thursday, Sept. 1 at 10 p.m. ET/PT, will give a behind-the-scenes look at the elite drivers and teams competing in the NASCAR Cup Series. It's exciting to learn more about the drivers' day-to-day lives, as well as what it's really like to be part of the world of NASCAR, but if you're new to NASCAR or simply a casual fan tuning in, you may have questions about how teams work. Here's what to know.
NASCAR racing drivers are all part of teams — the organization that owns the cars runs the team and employs the workers is a team. Each team is comprised of four cars. The teams of four utilize the same workers and resources, although they are definitely still racing against each other and only one can come in first. Still, if they don't win, they'll want a teammate to win, as it still reflects well on them. There are strategies they may employ to get rid of their mutual rivals at times, which makes for a fun watch.
A team usually has the same car manufacturer across the board (Chevrolet, Ford, or Toyota). Sometimes, teams will form alliances with other teams that use the same car manufacturer.
Some team organizations you'll see on the track include Joe Gibbs Racing, Penske Racing, and Hendricks Motorsports.
There are as many as 100 people who work for each team, although you won't see that on the tracks. Only a limited number of the road crew and pit crew members are allowed at race venues during the NASCAR cup series. You'll see the team owner, who is basically like the president of a company. Then there's the team manager, who is comparable to a VP; they're in charge of the daily activities needed to keep a team successful and thriving. The crew chief is the one who handles the work that goes into maintaining the car; they oversee engineers, the pit crew, the engine specialist, the tire specialist, and more.
Currently, there are 17 full-time teams in the NASCAR Cup series.
A team can also refer to the people who work on each of the individual cars. If someone is referencing a specific car number or driver's "team," that's what they mean.
To see it all in action, tune into "Race For The Championship," premiering Thursday, Sept. 1 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on USA Network.
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