Haas CNC Racing

by Tim Piotrowski on January 31, 2008 @ 13:16:16 PDT

 


Owner - Gene Haas

Manufacturer - Chevrolet

Cars and Drivers

No. 66 State Water Heaters

Haas Racing brought in Scott Riggs, who signed with them in October 2007, to drive their No. 66 car for this season. He will be taking over a car that was driven by Jeff Green and his teammate Jeremy Mayfield last season. Riggs finished 36th in the Nextel Cup standings last season driving for Gillett Evernham Motorsports and will try to jumpstart his career with a new team. Last season, Riggs only had one top-10 finish, but he did have eight top-20 finishes. In 2007, the No. 66 car finished in the top 10 three times and in the top 20 only six times in 36 races. The No. 66 car finished last year 31st in owner's points, which assures its participation in the first five races.

The crew chief for the No. 66 car will be Robert "Bootie" Barker, who worked with Johnny Sauter on the No. 70 Haas Racing car during the 2007 season. Barker had some success as the crew chief of the No. 70 car, helping it gain a top-five finish during the season. Some people believe that Barker is one of the better automotive minds in the sport.

No. 70 (No sponsor)

Mayfield returns to the Haas Racing family after a brief four-race stint driving the No. 66 car to drive the team's No. 70 car to finish the 2007 season. He only participated in 17 races last season, working for Bill Davis Racing during his other 13 races. Mayfield finished 44th in the Nextel Cup standings last season. Both the No. 70 car and the No. 66 car fared similarly last season. The No. 70 car finished in the top 10 twice and finished in the top 20 eight times. The No. 70 car finished last year 33rd in owner's points, which assures its participation in the first five races.

Mayfield will be reunited with a former colleague this season, with David Skog being named the crew chief for the No. 70 car. The two worked together in the same capacity during the 2002 season. Skog has experience with several racing companies, including a prior stint with Haas Racing as leader in the engineering department. Skog said he is confident with the team's equipment heading into the season.

Equipment and Resources

The cars for Haas CNC Racing did not face many problems due to engine trouble. Between the two cars, there was only one DNF because of engine troubles. The main reason for the success of the cars is likely because they use Hendrick Motorsports engines. Haas Racing uses Hendrick motors because they are one of the sponsors for Henrick Motorsports, and they have used these engines since their inception in 2003. A bright spot of Haas CNC Racing may be that the Car of Tomorrow will be used exclusively starting this season; cars with Hendrick engines virtually dominated the COT races last season.

Haas Racing also has an advantage that few other teams have: access to Windshear, a state-of-the-art wind tunnel that features a treadmill-like rolling road. The device is more advanced than a normal wind tunnel, which measures a car's aerodynamics. Windshear should provide the Haas Racing team with better data. Haas CNC plans to share this technology with others, but only after the team has reaped the benefits of its initial use. The employment of it should give the team an advantage in race preparation and testing.

One question that surrounds the Haas CNC Racing team is who will sponsor Mayfield and the No. 70 car. Riggs will have State Water Heaters as there primary sponsor this season, but the same company will sponsor Mayfield during select races. He will also be sponsored by Altas Copco in one of his races this season, but he has not found a permanent primary sponsor for the rest of the season.

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About Tim Piotrowski

Piotrowski has been a Hot Off the Wire analyst since 2007.

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