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.