NASCAR has been a sport steeped in great nicknames. From “The King” to “The Intimidator” to “The Alabama Gang” everyone who has been anyone in this sport has had a nickname. Fans love them, broadcasters solidify them, but over time some names fade off into the ethos.
Pit crew nicknames are some of those names that have faded off over the past decade or so and it’s time to bring them back. Maybe pit crews are all so good now it’s hard for one to stand out among the rest. Maybe the switching of members from team to team kills that “team unity” these others developed. But man did those guys a few years back seem to really take pride in their nicknames.
Pit Crew Nicknames
Killer Bees (#17 Matt Kenseth)
The Killer Bees name was a natural fit for Matt Kenseth’s #17 yellow and black Dewalt Ford. For a time they were the kings of pit road. “The Swarm” as they were called flew around the car gaining Kenseth positions nearly every trip down pit road. They won the pit crew challenge multiple times, The Killer Bees were the epitome of what a pit crew should be.
Rainbow Warriors (#24 Jeff Gordon)
Perhaps the most famous of all pit crews was Jeff Gordon’s #24 Rainbow Warriors team. The most dominant team of the 90’s helped Jeff Gordon win a staggering 33 races in three years. A feat that will likely never be accomplished again. Not to mention three championships and one spot shy of a 4-peat in 1996. It’s safe to say The Rainbow Warriors will be a name remembered in NASCAR forever.
Junkyard Dogs/Flying Aces (#3 Dale Earnhardt)
It’s almost not fair Dale Earnhardt got the most badass nickname with The Intimidator and then his pit crew got to call themselves the Junkyard Dogs and later the Flying Aces. Talk about a wealth of riches in the naming category for Earnhardt and Richard Childress Racing. From the 80’s to the 90’s the #3 crew regardless of name helped Earnhardt win trophy after trophy and championship after championship. The sport loved them, the sponsors loved them.
Pit Bulls (#16 Greg Biffle)
Greg Biffle’s love of animals is no secret. So when his pit crew needed a name it only made sense that they be called the “Pit Bulls.” A scrappy but aggressive dog with a nice side. That was Biffle’s pit crew in the late 2000’s. Another badass nickname.
The sport needs more team unity like this. It creates a great atmosphere for the team members and it gives fans something to aspire towards. Kids definitely grew up in the 80’s and 90’s wanting to be a Rainbow Warrior or part of the Flying Aces.
But before we start handing out nicknames they have to come naturally. You can’t just toss out Junkyard Dogs to someone like William Byron because it doesn’t fit. We do need pit crew nicknames to come back though.
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