NASCAR teams use off the shelf oil?

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Jan 19, 2003
Anybody else see the Busch series race today? During the Busch series race today Greg Biffles car developed an oil pressure problem. During a yellow flag pit stop the team said they added 3.5 quarts of oil. One of the TV cameras caught a close up of a crewman holding two 1 quart bottles of Pennzoil that had just been poured into the oil tank that sits behind the driver. I can tell it is a silver bottle with a yellow Pennzoil logo but I cannot read the bottle to see exactly what product it was. I have a screen capture of this in jpeg format, but no place to post it on the web. Either they go to a lot of trouble to fill bottles with some kind of special oil or it is the same stuff you and I can buy. By the way, Pennzoil is one of his sponsors, the engine made it to the end, he overcame the oil problem to win the race.
JonS, I don't know how to post a picture here. The picture I have I cannot read the weight no matter how hard I try. We need the races shot in HDTV to be able to read oil bottles. If anyone wants to post this picture on the internet I can email it to you. [ May 01, 2004, 09:23 PM: Message edited by: mracer ]
I think Johnny said that what race teams are using is not the retail oil. Pennzoil does make high end PAO synthetics that aren't availabe to the public yet. I'd like to see the photo though.
I wonder if it's really the Grp III Pennzoil in those bottles? Lots of rumors how people fill bottles with different oil. Could be a special blend. I read somewhere that one NASCAR team was using Citgo Synthetic. I don't think many of these guys care what oil they use sometimes. Most do use Mobil 1 though.
I can easily believe that they are regularly using off the shelf oils, since the oil is changed almost every pit stop. However, I also know that if a Chief is partial to a brand name other than the sponsor, they will re-package their favorite brands into sponsors containers or boxes, so as not to be seen using a competitor's product.
not sure what you mean by changing oil at pitstops, here is the pic. Looks like a special pennzoil racing oil to me. But in the pic it looks like it says 10w30 on the bottle, which I highly doubt. They probably use a straight 30w or 40w.  - [ May 01, 2004, 11:23 PM: Message edited by: JustinH ]
No they don't change oil during pitstops. They change 4 tires and add 22 gallons of gasoline in 14 seconds. This was a special circumstance due to an oil system problem with the car. They had added 3.5 quarts. The total capacity is about 22 quarts in these dry sump, remote oil tank systems.
to me the bottles look like a special packaging not exactly the ones you find on the store shelves, although close in general appearance. I believe most race teams use oil from large drums based on what I've seen when I've been at races, this is for the initial fill of the engine. But when you are on pit lane bottles are likely easier to use for topping up the engine when you are going over the wall to service the vehicle. I'd hazard a guess that it is a special blend of a racing formula, not the stuff you get on the shelf. I believe the 10w-30 weight viscosity as I've personally seen 5w-30 oil used in race cars.
Havoline has a commercial celebrating there 100th year. Jamie McMurray's car does a burn out and donuts like he is celebrating (making a 100). while the car is doing the donuts, the bottom in very small letters it reads "Jamie Mcmurray uses havoline racing oil" or something like that.
The bottles look like the old Performax bottles with a different label on them. I will try to find out next week exactly what the oil is and what weight it is.
Look at how narrow the pour spouts are on those bottles! M1 or even Drive clean/Superflo come in those nice widemouth bottles... Imagine having the rest of the pit crew do four tires and a tank of gas, and you're standing there... glug, glug, glug! [Mad]
Hmm. Looks like 10w-30 to me. A 1 gallon jug seems much more preferable for fast topping of multiple quarts. This makes me wonder if was somehow planted, although I believe "normal" otc oil is used by racers. [ May 02, 2004, 10:22 AM: Message edited by: Audi Junkie ]
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