Last year we made our first trip with the Indy Car team of Dale Coyne Racing and it looks like this year we will be making a few more trips with the team. What we have that they need is our Class A license, we are team drivers, and once at the track, we are willing to work in the pits where needed.
Usually, there is time between the races for solo truck drivers to move the race cars from point A to point B, but a few times a year they need to run fast. We have three races lined up this year that will include moving the cars and engineering trailer from track to track and then back to Dale Coyne headquarters in the Chicago area. Our first trip with the team in 2018 was nerve-racking as it had been a long time since Bob and I have driven a tractor-trailer but yep it was like riding a bike, we had not forgotten our skills. Now if we had to be precise and back up to a dock… that might take some doing to get our minds back on the fact it bends in the middle.
Why in the world would we do this? First Bob and I have always loved racing, and we raced at a much smaller level, ok it was minuscule to what the Indy Car is like, but we had a blast racing against each other. It is funny to watch us as we walk along anywhere and hear a race engine start and both of us turn as one to see where that beautiful noise is coming from. We have a great expedite business, and cannot just leave it hanging while we go off to work with the team so this adventure has to meet our monetary needs which it does.
The fun starts as we start down the road and look in the mirrors, it really is an Oh Crap moment. How many times over the years have we watched race trailers go by us and think wow that is SO COOL. Now it is our turn to see that trailer in the mirror. Once we get to the track it feels like a traveling circus as the trailers are unloaded, the tent set up, and the fully functional garage is set up. The trailers carry everything from the welcoming rugs to the top floor of the trailer and the race cars. It is unbelievable to watch all of this come together.
Like a traveling show, the behind the scenes action and how many people it takes to get the race car and driver onto the track is staggering. Each race car brings along a small army, and with Dale Coyne Racing there are sometimes three cars to get onto the track. The lady that takes care of rooms, cars, flights, race shirts and a myriad of other details just blows my mind. Her attention to detail of who rides with who, when people are arriving and leaving, and the best part who gets along with who is fascinating to see. She is just one of many that coordinates every detail before and after a race. There are no set hours as everyone works until the job is done and then they all do it again the next day and then move to the next track and do it again. It is a labor of love and the feeling of accomplishment.
We look forward to being a small part of this team and heading out to the races again in 2019.
Maybe you will see us in the pits with the Number 19 car while watching the races:
April 7th Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama, Barber Motorsports Park, Birmingham, AL
April 14th Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach, Long Beach CA
June 8th DXC Technology 600, Texas Motor Speedway, Fort Worth, TX
September 1st Grand Prix of Portland, Portland, OR