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With millions of fans spread throughout the country, NASCAR is one of the most popular sports in the United States. Whether it is on the couch or at the track, the die-hard fans never miss a single lap as they cheer on their favorite driver to win the race every weekend. It is easy to focus on the skills of the driver, but there are actually dozens of people working together every week to win the race. Here is a breakdown of the main roles in a NASCAR race team. 

Driver
The driver is the most obvious member of the NASCAR team. The driver is the one actually maneuvering the car along the track at speeds near 200 miles per hour. It takes years of practice and training for a driver to earn a spot on a top race team. They spend a lot of time proving their skills in lower racing levels before becoming household names. 

Owner
It costs a lot of money to field a NASCAR team on a weekly basis. While most of the money goes towards making sure the car is working properly, all of the employees of the race team also need to be paid. The majority of this funding is covered by sponsorships, which are acquired by the team owner. The owner makes all of the hiring and firing decisions on a race team. They are the ones writing the checks on a weekly basis too. 

Crew Chief
There is a very good chance that you have heard the announcers mention the crew chief when watching a NASCAR race on television. The crew chief oversees all of the activities surrounding the tweaking of the race car. Their job is to find ways to make the car run faster and handle better on the track. The crew chief also talks to the driver throughout the race to gain insight about the car. 

Pit Crew
The pit crew is a team of workers responsible for keeping the car going during the race. They add fuel, change tires, and make other small tweaks to ensure the car can last for hundreds of miles. In addition to making speedy pit stops, the pit crew members also perform mechanical work on the car in the days leading up to the race.