This season, official with the kickoff of the Daytona 500 in February, Mack Trucks became the official hauler of NASCAR and provided racing’s governing body with 10 custom-designed Mack Pinnacle model trucks that were used to support raceday operations.
Each of the haulers travelled up to 60,000 miles during the 10-month, 36-race season.
John Walsh, Mack Trucks vice president, global marketing and brand management, says each of NASCAR’s three dozen races is delivered by truck, and the hauler drivers are often the first to arrive and the last to leave the racetrack. Their cargo includes everything from a state-of-the-art laser inspection platform, locker rooms, offices, and communications and production equipment needed for the race weekend.
“During the season, our drivers spend more time on the road than at home, so it’s crucial they’re well-rested when they arrive at the track so we can accomplish what we need to do,” says Buster Auton, senior transportation director for NASCAR.
The custom-spec’d Mack Pinnacle models are outfitted with a number of features designed to boost driver comfort, including Mack’s top-of-the-line Grand Touring interior trim package. The trucks also feature upgraded seats, Bluetooth-enabled hands-free connectivity and satellite radio.
Each of the Pinnacle models is powered by a fully integrated Mack powertrain featuring a 505-horsepower, 13-liter Mack MP8 engine and Mack’s 12-speed mDRIVE automated manual transmission.
“I’ll tell you what, I love the mDRIVE. That feature has me like no other,” says NASCAR hauler driver Tony Fripp. “We went through Las Vegas in the early morning, but Vegas never sleeps, so there was traffic. Just to sit there and drive with my hands on the steering wheel and no shifting was like ‘wow.’”
NASCAR’s Pinnacle models are also equipped with Mack’s GuardDog Connect telematics system, which combines the right mix of technology and people to maximize uptime. Acting as a virtual pit crew, GuardDog Connect proactively monitors critical fault codes that could lead to unplanned downtime.
When GuardDog Connect detects a potential issue, it automatically notifies Mack OneCall agents at the 24/7 Mack Uptime Center, as well as the driver and designated fleet contact. Parts and service bay availability at the nearest dealer location are confirmed and detailed repair instructions are sent, all while the truck is still on the road.
NASCAR’s fleet of Mack Pinnacle models will have a brief break over the winter, but will be back on the road soon as NASCAR’s 2017 season opener – the Daytona 500 – is just over 80 days away.