Mack Trucks is nearing the finish line in its first full season as the “Official Hauler of NASCAR.”
With the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season having taken the checkered flag, Mack Trucks is nearing the finish line in its first full season as the “Official Hauler of NASCAR.” And, while the Sprint Cup drivers experienced plenty of ups and downs during the grueling season, NASCAR's hauler drivers cruised comfortably in their 10 custom-designed Mack Pinnacle model trucks. Each of the haulers traveled up to 60,000 miles during the 36-race, 10-month long season, hauling race equipment and technology between stops.
“With such a demanding schedule, we knew the NASCAR season would be a challenge,” said John Walsh, Mack Trucks vice president, global marketing and brand management. “But our Mack trucks were up to the task, thanks to their legendary toughness, industry-leading uptime solutions and superior driver comfort.”
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.
“We're happy to have Mack on board, as the drivers really like the power and comfort their trucks provide,” said Buster Auton, senior transportation director for NASCAR. “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.”
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. With no traditional gearshift or clutch pedal to operate, the mDRIVE not only helps boost efficiency without sacrificing performance, but also greatly improves driver comfort.
“I'll tell you what, I love the mDRIVE. That feature has me like no other,” said Tony Fripp, NASCAR hauler driver. “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.
Mack followed NASCAR's hauler teams from Atlanta to Las Vegas to capture what it takes to bring each race to life. The video is the first in a new series looking at how familiar things get from point A to point B. Click here to watch the video, or visit the Mack YouTube page.
NASCAR's fleet of Mack Pinnacle models will have a brief break over the winter, but will be back on the road soon: NASCAR's 2017 season opener, the Daytona 500, is just over 80 days away.