After 18 seasons at the helm of the UB Wrestling program, Jim Beichner was relieved of his duties as head coach, and like many people around the country was out looking for a fresh start in a new job. His new job, however, wasn't a new coaching position at another college, but the Director of Athletics at Penske Racing.
Beichner's new job as Director of Athletics is to make sure that the drivers and pit crews of Penske's Sprint Cup, and Nationwide series teams are following a rigorous fitness regimen so they can perform flawlessly on raceday. A tired pit crew means a sloppy pit crew, and a sloppy pit crew means lost time in the pits which results in lost positions on the track.
NASCAR is much more physically demanding than most people realize; the drivers handling a 3,000 pound race car traveling at speeds of close to 200 MPH while the inside of the cockpit can reach temperatures of over 100 degrees for hours on end can be very stressful on the body, especially if the driver is not in shape. Also, the pit crews have physically demanding jobs with the tire changers running around with 25 pound tires, and the gas man holding two 12-gallon cans that weigh 81 pounds a piece, needing to service the car in less than 12 seconds.
With former Sprint Cup Champion Brad Keselowski sitting third in the Sprint Cup standings, and Penske teammate Joey Logano sitting in 7th, and with both having multiple victories, and having two of the most efficient pit crews in NASCAR, the hiring of Beichner has paid dividends for Team Penske.
With his focus on the NASCAR teams right now, Beichner may be called upon in the near future to oversee Penske's IndyCar teams as well. If his early success in NASCAR is any indication, Beichner will be a key asset in pit crew training for Penske in the years to come both in NASCAR and IndyCar.