It’s said that an individual is never more than 10 feet away from a 3M product. In the NASCAR garage, it can be said that a crewmember or driver likely is in constant contact with a 3M product.
That’s because in 2018, NASCAR teams used more than 200 3M products, according to 3M.
In the shop, on the pit box, in the hauler and on the racecar, teams rely on the innovation of 3M to help them work faster, smarter and better. They also depend on 3M Automotive Aftermarket Division to help get them to victory lane.
The same abrasives, adhesives, tapes, sealants, paint products, cleaners, fillers and films that are used in NASCAR are the same 3M solutions that are used in many of today’s vehicles and collision repair shops every day, 3M says. Cutting-edge tools such as the File Belt Sander, Dynamic Mixing System, Accuspray Spray Gun and Total Automotive Sanding System, also are employed to add greater efficiency throughout every step.
3M Automotive Aftermarket Division has been a contingency sponsor in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series for nearly two decades. As an official partner, 3M AAD collaborates with the NASCAR R&D Center to integrate 3M automotive products and solutions into the sport.
“3M products touch every part of a racecar,” says NASCAR Hall of Fame crew chief Ray Evernham, who won three Cup Series championships with Jeff Gordon. “It doesn’t matter if it’s fabricating or fixing, painting or cleaning, without 3M, teams would struggle to build and race these cars at the same high level that they do today. I personally use 3M products in my own shop. They are an invaluable asset when it comes to restoring and maintaining my collection.”
From the time production starts on a NASCAR racecar, to the time it returns to the shop after a grueling race weekend, 3M products are a part of the entire process.
Car Construction and Fabrication
In NASCAR, cars are continually built and rebuilt. Race teams need products they can count on that will not only meet the high demands of on-track action, but also will perform with precision and efficiency in the shop. Some of the 3M products used for this include:
- 3M VHB Tapes are high-strength bonding tapes and a proven alternative to screws, rivets, welds and other mechanical fasteners.
- 3M Dual Lock Recloseable Fasteners – Give the permanency and strength of a screw with the ease and aesthetics of a hidden fastener.
- 3M Scotch-Weld – For bonding steel and aluminum panels
- 3M Panel Bond Adhesive – Two-part epoxy used to bond steel and aluminum
- 3M Impact-Resistant Structural Adhesive – Two-part epoxy used to bond steel and aluminum alloys
- 3M Universal Adhesive – Strong and durable two-part urethane for bonding metal and plastic
- 3M Flexible Foam – Two-part foam for trunk, door cavities and roof areas
- 3M Aluminum Foil Tape 425 – Ideal for heat shielding, heat reflecting, sealing and de-paint operation
- 3M Cubitron II abrasives – Fast and efficient abrasives for metal grinding
- 3M Scotch-Brite Light Deburring Wheel – Surface conditioning parts on racecar
- 3M Welding and Spark Deflection Paper – Fire-retardant paper to protect areas of the car while welding
- 3M Glass Cloth Tape – Withstands extreme temperatures up to 450 F while offering high tensile strength and high abrasion resistance
Prep and Painting
A perfectly smooth finish could be the difference between celebrating in Victory Lane or going home to an empty trophy case.
Once the chassis is built and the body is hung, 3M products can be found cleaning up welds, filling gaps and imperfections, smoothing body filler and preparing the car for paint. In the prep and painting phase, team members get the job done with these 3M products:
- 3M’s Total Automotive Sanding System is engineered to support the ongoing need for cleaner, safer, more efficient and profitable shops. It combines best-in-class 3M abrasives with premium power tools and dust-extraction solutions from Festool Automotive Systems.
- 3M Platinum Plus body fillers – Plastic filler for filling dents and shaping body to fit NASCAR template
- Flap Discs – For cutting and polishing all metals, creating a uniform finish
- Scotch-Brite Pads – For scuffing before applying paint and primer
- 3M Cubitron II Clean Sanding Hookit Discs – For featheredging and final sanding before primer coat
- 3M Masking Tape – Conformable masking tape for curves, contours and outstanding paint lines
- 3M Accuspray Spray Guns and 3M PPS 2.0 Series Paint Preparation System – Efficient system for mixing/measuring, filtering and spraying of primer, sealer, base and clear coat
- 3M Dirt Trap Protection Material – Innovative solution for trapping airborne contaminates in paint areas
- 3M Purple Finishing Film Hookit Discs – For removing paint, scratch refinement on bare metal, and shaping plastic filler
- 3M Perfect-It Auto Detailing Cloths – For applying wax and glaze
- 3M Paint Protection Film – Custom cut clear film protecting nose, hood, and fenders from chips
Racing side-by-side at speeds of up to 200 mph, accidents are sometimes inevitable. 3M’s products are used to help get the car back on the track quickly on race day.
- 3M Cubitron II Cut-Off Wheels – Discs for cutting all metals
- 3M Cubitron II Fibre Discs – For removing paint, welding nuggets or surface imperfections
- 3M Cubitron II File Belts – For metal grinding applications
- 3M Cubitron II Roloc Discs – For removing paint, welding nuggets or surface imperfections
In the shop or at the track, several 3M tools and systems are used throughout the entire process. Teams are able to take advantage of 3M’s advanced tool lineup for everything from car construction, finishing, repairs, and rebuilding. These 3M products can be found both at the shop and on the pit box:
- 3M Roloc Disc Sander
- 3M Random Orbital Sander
- 3M File Belt Tool
- 3M Dynamic Mixing System
- 3M Accuspray System
- 3M Versaflo Painter’s Supplied Air Respirator