Inside The Chase: Lug nut gluer holds it all together

Published October 30, 2005

A tube of adhesive in one hand and a fistful of lug nuts in the other, one or two crew members squat over a collection of tires splayed around their pit box.

They could be a jackman or tire-changer during the race, but for now, they're lug-nut gluers. And they're incredibly important.

The process: Lug nuts are lined up over the five holes on each tire to be used in the race and glued down. The reason: with the lug nuts lined up, the tire-changer can hit each with his air-powered compression wrench and tightened the tire down quickly.

"It's proper protocol that it takes 21/2 to 3 hours for the glue to set up," said Brooksville native Chris Anderson, jackman for Jimmie Johnson and an occasional gluer. "Don't use too, too much adhesive and not too little, so it's a technique. I'm not the greatest at it, but I can do it. Other people are better, so you make sure the guys who are better do it."

After more than three hours the glue sets too hard, making for a unpleasant experience for the tire-changer. A messy glue job also requires cleanup, and race teams tend to hate such things.

So as with any specialty within the garage, the stars emerge. Anderson is all right with it not being him.

"It's sort of like the kids in kindergarten that can draw in the lines," Anderson said. "You want one of those. I can't keep it in the lines."