It's a Team's Life
Indianapolis Motor Speedway
We arrived at the Speedway on May 13th to help the Dale Coyne Racing Team in the garages through the big race on Sunday, May 25th.
Over and over, the question has been asked of us, “How did you get involved with an IndyCar team?” It really is a funny story that started out with me asking a question about an expedite truck this guy was driving. He didn’t really know much about the truck but he knew a lot about how the sleeper was built.
As time went on a friendship developed, and when he went back to working for an IndyCar team, he managed their trucks. He remembered that we both had our Class A CDL and at times the team would get into a bind needing to move from track to track faster than a solo could get it done. He also knew that Bob and I love racing and any chance we have to get involved with racing we will jump on it.
Next, the question was asked, “Do you want to stay for the race and help out where needed?” That took a nanosecond to give a resounded “Well YES” Each race we learn a little more of how it takes a village to put one car and driver on the track. At the Indy 500, Dale Coyne Racing had three cars trying to qualify and I am happy to report all three qualified with Sebastien Bourdais in the top nine.
Two weeks out to the race each day, there are 55 to 60 people to feed lunch and dinner. Throughout the day, they drink lots of water, Gatorade, and soda at alarming rates. It is a never-ending task keeping the refrigerators stocked, so the drinks stay cold. There are also plenty of snacks for in between meals to keep everyone’s energy up. On pit lane, each of the three cars has a different pit and pit crew and they also have coolers that need to be kept stocked with Gatorade and water that have to be kept filled and full of ice. The track has ice for sale with the cheapest I have seen at one track $5,00 to Long Beach selling each bag for $25.00 to a captive audience.
Appearances matter as there are race fans and sponsors continually looking inside the garages and taking pictures. If it can be polished it is polished, trash cans are emptied continuously, rugs swept, and here at Indy, the garage walls wiped down. As one of the crew chiefs said to me "IndyCar is an elite sport and we all need to make sure we look and act as if we are part of that elite sport".
All of these details are besides what each crew is performing on the cars. Everything is checked and then checked again. It still surprises me how much time is spent putting air in tires, taking air out of tires, checking the pressures in each tire, and measuring the circumference of each tire. Then the drivers and cars go out for a practice and then it starts all over again. All of this is leading up to May 25th and the Indianapolis 500.
The three IndyCars in the Dale Coyne Racing garages are:
Sebastian Bourdais #18
Santino Ferrucci #19
James Davidson #33
This adventure reminds me of why we are Team Caffee as we are both here at the track as a Team. It is fun and hard work in the pits, but it is something that we can do together and we enjoy. We are still pinching ourselves that we are here in the garages at Indianapolis Motor Speedway looking up at the Pagoda.
Bob & Linda Caffee
Saint Louis MO
Expediters since January 2005
Expediting isn't just trucking, it's a lifestyle;
Expediting isn't just a lifestyle, it's an adventure;
Expediting isn't just an adventure, it's a job;
Expediting isn't just a job, it's a business.