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Going To Daytona


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#1 johndeereelfman OFFLINE  

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Posted January 22, 2013 - 08:00 PM

About five years ago, I starting working part time for Competition Tire and Goodyear, and have been limited to the Nascar Race tracks in the Northeast sector. Since I started, I've only been working the Spring and Fall Dover Races in Delaware. Tried the Pocono Race track once, but didn't like it, as the garage fills up with water whenever it rains.

 

For my first year of employment, I had to work as a tire balancer and stacker, which consisted of balancing the wheels, and then stacking the wheels on stacks of four wheels high, for each team. Needless to say, it wasn't much fun! So the following year I applied for the position of being a mounter, which means I mount the tires to the racing rims. Much better, always busy, and no standing around.

 

For both the Spring and Fall races, we have to be at the Dover track Wenesday morning at 7:00 am, and usually by 8:00 am, all of the mounting machines and balancing machines are set up and ready to go. Half of us start on the Nationwide Series tires, and the other half start on the Camping World Truck Series tires. At the end of the day on Wednesday, we have both series tires mounted, balanced and ready to go (roughly 900 wheels total). On Thursday and Friday, we all move to the Cup garage, and start mounting. By Saturday, all of the Cup tires are mounted and balanced (roughly 2,700 wheels total) and ready to go. Most of the drivers come through the garage and watch our techniques, and will even spend time with us, making conversation. Goodyear is pretty much the big wheel around the race tracks, so we can come and go throughout the track as we want.

 

Well, today I got a call from one of the big wigs, asking me if I can or would be interested in working the Daytona Race in Florida. Really? Am I interested? Gee, let me give this some thought, of course I'll work it!!! That is a no brainer. Daytona is the first race of the season, and Hello, it's the best track ever! This is quite an honor, as Goodyear usually uses the local boys in Florida to do the wheels. Very rarely do Northeast guys get to go down, and when guys do get to go, it's usually guys that you just can't seem to compete with.

 

To most people, this may not mean anything, but to me, this is a really big deal. I was asked by one of the big wigs last Spring, if I'd be interested in working for Goodyear full time, and traveling to all of the race tracks, but at the time, I wasn't sure. Full time is a big commitment. A lot of traveling, and a lot of time away from the wife and kids. Don't know that I can do that. But going to different tracks once in a while throughout the year isn't so bad. At least not every week! I'm so excited. I often dreamed out making it to a Daytona race, but never did I realize that I'd be there, mounting the tires for each of the race teams.


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#2 Guest_rat88_*

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Posted January 22, 2013 - 08:17 PM

If you are too busy, I might be able to reschedule some stuff, if you need a sub. I would give my left n... uh, left over GT parts to do that.


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#3 Bmerf OFFLINE  

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Posted January 22, 2013 - 08:22 PM

Sounds like a good time! Enjoy the racing.


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#4 JDBrian OFFLINE  

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Posted January 22, 2013 - 08:30 PM

Congratulations that's great news Troy. Sounds like a dream come true for you. Are you still working throughout the race or are you able to take a seat and enjoy it?


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#5 backwoods OFFLINE  

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Posted January 22, 2013 - 08:40 PM

you better get some pictures while your down there. do you guys do anything with the rolex series as well or just cup cars,busch cars an trucks??  if you every are up near watkins glen raceway get ahold of my maybe we could meet up and have a couple drinks


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#6 johndeereelfman OFFLINE  

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Posted January 22, 2013 - 08:41 PM

We are flying down the Friday morning before, and starting to mount the tires as soon as we arrive. Start up again early Saturday morning. Since the qualifying tires will already be done, we will only have to mount four sets of tires for each team (688 tires total). Should be able to have them done by 2:00 Saturday afternoon. The garage will close around 4:30, so I'll have the rest of the afternoon and evening on both Friday and Saturday to walk around and take in the sights. Sunday we will be in the garage by 8:00 am, and it will be a lazy morning. Won't do much other than remount leaking tires, or transfer tires from red rims to black rims. Won't be able to see much of the race from the in-field or garage, but just being able to be there is more than enough excitment for me. We will help load up equipment after the race on Sunday, and then head for home on Monday morning.


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#7 larryd OFFLINE  

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Posted January 22, 2013 - 08:51 PM

Congrats mto you. I would have loved a chance at that ba while back. I know what it means to get to go to a big race. My brotheri-inlaw got to go to both Talledaga races for several years for a week at a time. Our wifes said we were crazy .

 

larryd


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#8 olcowhand OFFLINE  

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Posted January 22, 2013 - 08:58 PM

Congrats Troy..... see, being a bit strange pay off!   :smilewink:    Sounds like a blast of a time.  How many people get the chance at something like that!!!!!   :dancingbanana:


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#9 johndeereelfman ONLINE  

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Posted January 22, 2013 - 09:12 PM

you better get some pictures while your down there. do you guys do anything with the rolex series as well or just cup cars,busch cars an trucks??  if you every are up near watkins glen raceway get ahold of my maybe we could meet up and have a couple drinks

 

Trust me, I'm planning on taking as many pictures as time allows. I used to get excited whenever the drivers would walk into the garage, and I'd start snapping as many pictures as I could, but those days are long over. The drivers are just adverage joe's, like you and I, and really aren't crazy about all of the hoop-la. Dale Jr is usually focused on racing, and doesn't like giving autographs or having his picture taken, so he ducks in the garage to get away from the fans. Tony Stewart is a real down to earth guy. Like's to talk about racing, but if the subject changes to something else, he goes with the flow and mingles. Jeff Gordan is kind of moody. Sometimes he'll talk to you, and other times he just wants left alone. Kasey Kane and Kurt Busch both like thier pictures taken, and like the attention from the fans. Each guy is different, but when you can have the chance to stand and talk with them, you'll soon realize that the only difference between you and them, is thier paycheck has more zero's than your's.

 

Never did Watkins Glen. Might have to give that one a try sometime. We go to any of the races that use Goodyear tires. Had opportunities to work the Drag Racing Series, but we don't mount those tires, just sell them. Lots of opportunities to visit all kinds of places, but I think the Family is more important right now.


Edited by johndeereelfman, January 22, 2013 - 09:15 PM.

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#10 backwoods OFFLINE  

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Posted January 22, 2013 - 09:22 PM

I cant agree more family always comes first to me.Watkins Glen is a nice track. with a normal quite town about 2 or 3 miles from the raceway until theres a race then it can get crazy with all of the tourist that flock to the area for the races or the glass muesam in Corning.


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#11 tractorgarden OFFLINE  

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Posted January 22, 2013 - 09:31 PM

Good for you Troy! Have fun and be careful!
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#12 UncleWillie OFFLINE  

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Posted January 22, 2013 - 09:37 PM

Sounds like fun.


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#13 MAV ONLINE  

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Posted January 22, 2013 - 09:39 PM

WOW Troy I would have never guessed you did anything like that. I thought maybe you worked at the mouse trap factory, LOL Been to Daytona once and did the Daytona USA thing. It was the week before the July race and it was pretty overwhelming. I have followed Nascar for several years and usually listen to it while I am working on the GT's. Congrats on getting the chance to do this as many just dream of doing something like this. :thumbs:

 

Mark

 

So does this mean you will be getting rid of those original Firestone tires for your GT's? If so I want to be first inline. :rolling:


Edited by MAV, January 22, 2013 - 09:42 PM.

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#14 Michiganmobileman OFFLINE  

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Posted January 22, 2013 - 10:01 PM

Wow Troy that sounds like a good time.  Do you think that could lead to more similar opportunities short of a full time stint?  


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#15 Texas Deere and Horse OFFLINE  

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Posted January 22, 2013 - 10:03 PM

Troy, Call me if you need an assistant. I have been into NASCAR and racing in general ever since I saw the first LIVE televised Daytona 500 on TV. I was about 7.

 

What a GREAT opportunity you have been given, I am like you in thinking, Family comes First.

 

Have a GREAT time, my Friend!!


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