Want to help out at a race track near you?
Since a lot of you have expressed some interest, I wanted to share some information in case you would like to get involved with a Motorsports Safety Team in the Ohio area this coming racing season:
The Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course
For those who want to keep close to some of the NASCAR names, the EMCO Gears Classic presented by KeyBank scheduled for June 19-21, 2009 will host the Rolex Grand-Am racing series which has many drivers and teams that you will recognize as having NASCAR ties. The weekend will also host the Mustang Challenge series which will help get your fill of some stock car type racing to go along with the Daytona Prototypes.
If you are interested in seeing cars that have been driven by your racing heroes like Rusty Wallace or Bobby Rahal, the Vintage Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio scheduled for June 26-28, 2009 is a place where you might get to see some of those cars. To me, this is one of the most enjoyable weekends to be at Mid-Ohio where you get to see many different types of race vehicles and the Sports Vintage Racing Association (SVRA) allows us to do our jobs without a lot of "pushing" to meet time-certain schedules. There is emphasis on safety and taking care of the competition vehicles (many are one-of-a-kind) and the SVRA usually puts on a very nice workers party on Saturday night.
Is motorcycle racing something you want to be a part of? I have never worked one, but those who do always have interesting stories to tell. The Honda Super Cycle Weekend presented by Dunlop Tire will be run on July 17-19, 2009. These are certainly the fastest vehicles to run on the 2.4 mile track and they always put on a race spectacle.
If one weekend of motorcycles is not enough, come back the next weekend for the AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days July 24-26, 2009. Again, I have not worked the 2-wheel events, but those who like bikes usually like to work all of the bike events, so this one must be fun too.
If you like being at the "Big Show", you will want to be at the Acura Sports Car Challenge/ The Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio presented by Westfield Insurance on August 7-9, 2009. As I have said before, I can't promise that you will be working in Danica Patrick's pit box, but there is a good chance that you will get to see her throughout the weekend, along with many other big names in the racing world (I even got into a bit of a shouting match with A.J. Foyt last year!). Along with the IRL, the American LeMans Series (ALMS) will be running that weekend. Last year we experienced a serious fire in the pit lane during the ALMS race that brought attention to why we have firefighters assigned to the posts on the pit wall. This event requires the most staffing of all of the spectator events, so if you can just work one weekend this summer, please consider coming out to help at this one.
And rounding out the season is yet another 2-wheel race weekend with the
AMA Road Race Grand Championships set for September 11-13, 2009 more super cycle type stuff with less heat than you had in July!
Along with the spectator events, Mid-Ohio will host several "club racing" events, so if you have other free weekends and want to get a racing "fix" I am sure they can use the help out there!
So... if Mid-Ohio sounds line something you might want to get into this summer, send an e-mail to Tom Sneeringer ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) and let him know.
Nelson Ledges Road Course
If you are closer to the Warren, Ohio area, the Nelson Ledges Road Course can always use help with their Safety Team. Pretty much all of their events this summer will be club racing weekends, with the "Big Event" being their endurance race(s) in August. You can check their dates at their website, http://www.nelsonledges.com/GOTSchedules.aspx and if you want to help out the Safety Team, contact Denny Freeman at email@example.com .
And the other track that I am involved with is the Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, KY. Those that MUST have a NASCAR "fix" will be able to get it at this super speedway. There will be four spectator events at the track this season:
May 9th - ARCA/REMAX Series "Drive Smart Buckle-Up Kentucky 150 (150 miles - 100 laps)
June 13th - NASCAR Nationwide Series 300 mile / 200 lap race
July 18th - NASCAR World Camping Truck Series 225 miles / 150 lap race
August 1st - IRL 300 mile / 200 lap race (the week before the Mid-Ohio race, so this would be a great warm-up!
I consider Kentucky Speedway to be my "Home Track" for oval racing and have always enjoyed working there. So far, they have paid their track services staff which offsets the expense of going down there.
If you want to get involved with Kentucky Speedway, send an e-mail to Charles Williams at firstname.lastname@example.org . Kentucky will have their NASCAR Advance Training on March 7-8 and another session will be on March 21-22. A make-up session is in the works for sometime in April. NASCAR prefers everyone to attend their training before the track puts you on their payroll, so plan on volunteering at least for one weekend to accomplish that. Hotel rooms are cheap down there in March and April, so you won't put yourself out much and the training has always been top notch.
Of course, there are also many small tracks throughout the state that can probably use some help. If you are near one and want to get involved, stop at the track a few hours before a race and introduce yourself to the track workers. I doubt they will turn away any free help and usually there is some need for people with fire and EMS training at these venues.