Tag Archives: Indianapolis Motor Speedway

USAC Marshall Program: License Application to Flag Indianapolis Motor Speedway Events

Saw a friend share a link today on facebook: usacracing.redpodium.com/usac-marshall-program I know USAC: United Sates Auto Club… the Motorsport sanctioning body responsible for organizing marshals for Indianapolis Motor Speedway events. Great people… looking closer at the license application page… they’re using my picture from Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix from a few years back. How cool?

The licensing fee is also significantly cheaper than say SCCA, but granted there are very few events where marshals are needed at IMS, which like other famous oval tracks rely on paid spotters and the light system to signal cautions at the big events, like Indy 500.

Nevertheless, a very worthwhile experience being a member.

USAC indianapolis motor speedway marshall application 2016

So if you’re interested… do join!

MotoAmerica Volunteer Request Form 2015 Season

For the Motorcycle Racing fans out there, MotoAmerica is recruiting marshals for the 2015 season taking place around a number of the famous road courses within the US. The tracks include: Circuit of the Americas, Road Atlanta, Virginia International Raceway, Road America, Barber Motorsports Park, Miller Motorsports Park, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the New Jersey Motorsports Park.

motoamerica schedule 2015 circuits
source: MotoAmerica.com

The Schedule for 2015 goes as follows:

Apr 10-12 Circuit of the Americas – Austin, Texas (Superbike/Superstock 1000 and Supersport as MotoGP support races)

Apr 17-19 Road Atlanta – Braselton, Georgia (Superbike/Superstock 1000, Supersport, Superstock 600)

May 15-17 Virginia International Raceway (VIR) – Danville, Virginia (Superbike/Superstock 1000, Supersport, Superstock 600)

May 29-31 Road America – Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin (Superbike/Superstock 1000, Supersport, Superstock 600, KTM RC Cup)

Jun 12-14 Barber Motorsports Park – Birmingham, Alabama (Superbike/Superstock 1000, Supersport, Superstock 600, KTM RC Cup)

Jun 26-28 Miller Motorsports Park – Tooele, Utah (Superbike/Superstock 1000, Supersport, Superstock 600, KTM RC Cup)

July 17-19 Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca – Monterey, California (Superbike/Superstock 1000, Supersport, Superstock 600, KTM RC Cup as WSBK Support Race)

Aug 7-9 Indianapolis Motor Speedway – Indianapolis, Indiana * (Superbike/Superstock 1000, Supersport as MotoGP support races)

Sep 11-13 New Jersey Motorsports Park – Millville, New Jersey (Superbike/Superstock 1000, Supersport, Superstock 600, KTM RC Cup)

Source: http://www.motoamerica.com/2015-schedule

Oh and if the classes sound familiar it’s because you have seen this racing before especially if you’re a Motorcycle racing or MotoGP fan, because MotoAmerica is the new series that replaced AMA Superbike Championship series, for which I have participated myself  a few years at NJMP.

It’s an absolutely wonderful experience and I would highly recommend it to anyone interested in marshaling.

Some of my favorite photos from past events:

ama superbikes njmp 1

ama superbikes njmp 2

To register go ahead and visit:  www.motoamerica.com/motoamerica-needs-you

And download a PDF registration form that should be submitted with your availability at the circuit of your choice: www.motoamerica.com/sites/motoamerica.com/files/attachments/2015/03/motoamerica_volunteer_request_3.pdf

To read up more about MotoAmerica and AMA Superbike Championship check out their wikipedia page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AMA_Superbike_Championship

One of the coolest things I experienced pertaining to this series was hearing a Taiwanese marshal I worked the Singapore GP with rant and rave how much he likes to watch AMA Superbikes… and even though I worked the event several times I knew very little about it.

Indianapolis: IndyCar & MotoGP Marshals Registration Open

As of this week, if you wish to volunteer as a marshal for a few inner track events at Indianapolis, the registration process is about to start. New this year is an additional IndyCar race, not the world famous Indy 500 going around the oval, but a shorter event using the same road course that Grand Am and IMSA TUSC series used.

Similarly, Indianapolis turns into a biker town when MotoGP comes around, and I would highly recommend taking advantage of the opportunity to marshal there. If you wish contact details for either of the events, by all means get in touch.

Keep in mind that Indianapolis events are run by United States Auto Club and there is a small registration fee that pays for your very fancy dinner the night before the events start. You will also get a nice Indianapolis Motor Speedway hat and a polo shirt, as well as possible other swag for participating. USAC provides marshal uniforms (the blue overalls) so you can travel light to the event. Do bring your own gloves, whistle, earplugs and comfortable shoes. Don’t forget your rain gear as Indy gets pretty stormy on occasion.

Here are some photos from some of the events I marshaled there:

grand am indy 1

motogp indianapolis 1

motogp indianapolis

How I would go about compiling a “Pro” Marshal’s Handbook

The SCCA Marshal Handbook is 30 pages long. It covers most of the basic rules for club racing, but does little to help a marshal working a “Pro” event especially one sanctioned by the FIA, IMSA, IndyCar, etc.

So to supplement the current lack of actual pre-event training (if you work club events you get really good with club rules which are different than individual series rules) I will compile a Handbook to help those marshals interested in working “Pro” events.

First I must identify what pro events there are on 2015 calendar.

They are:

F1 – Circuit of the Americas, TX (10/25)
MotoGP – Circuit of the Americas, TX (4/12)
MotoGP – Indianapolis Motor Speedway, IN (8/9)
WEC – Circuit of the Americas, TX (9/19)
SBK – Laguna Seca, CA (7/19)
Formual E – Miami, FL – 3/14
Formula E – Long Beach, CA – 4/4

IndyCar – St Petersburg, FL (3/29)
IndyCar – NOLA Motorsports Park, LA (4/12)
IndyCar – Barber Motorsports Park, AL (4/26)
IndyCar – Indianapolis Motor Speedway, IN (5/9)
IndyCar – Detroit Belle Isle, MI (5/31)
IndyCar – Toronto, ON (6/14)
IndyCar – Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, OH (8/2)
IndyCar – Sonoma Raceway, CA (8/30)

TUSC – Daytona International Speedway, FL (1/24)
TUSC – Sebring International Raceway, FL (3/21)
TUSC – Long Beach, CA (4/18)
TUSC – Laguna Seca, CA (5/3)
TUSC – Belle Isle, MI (5/30)
TUSC – Watkins Glen International, NY (6/28)
TUSC – Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, ON (7/12)
TUSC – Lime Rock Park (7/25)
TUSC – Road America, WI (8/9)
TUSC – Virginia International Raceway, VA (8/23)
TUSC – Circuit of the Americas, TX (9/19)
TUSC – Road Atlanta, GA (10/3)

PWC – Circuit of the Americas, TX (3/8)
PWC – St Petersburg, FL (3/29)
PWC – Long Beach, CA (4/19)
PWC – Barber Motorsports Park, AL (4/26)
PWC – Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, ON (5/17)
PWC – Road America, WI (6/28)
PWC – Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, OH (8/2)
PWC – Miller Motorsports Park, UT (8/23)
PwC – Sonoma Raceway, CA (8/30)
PWC – Laguna Seca, CA (9/13)

AMA – Circuit of the Americas, TX (4/12)
AMA – Road Atlanta, GA (4/19)
AMA – Virginia International Raceway, VA (5/17)
AMA – Road America, WI (5/31)
AMA – Barber Motorsports Park, AL (6/14)
AMA – Indianapolis Motor Speedway, IN (8/9)
AMA – NJMP, NJ (9/13)
AMA – Laguna Seca, CA (7/19)

NASCAR – Sonoma Raceway, CA (6/28)
NASCAR – Watkins Glen International, NY (8/9)
NASCAR – Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, OH (8/15)
NASCAR – Road America, WI (8/29)
NASCAR – Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, ON (8/30)

Trans Am – Sebring International Raceway, FL (3/1)
Trans Am – Homestead-Miami Speedway, FL (4/12)
Trans Am – Road Atlanta, GA (5/9)
Trans Am – Lime Rock Park, CT (5/23)
Trans Am – NJMP, NJ (6/14)
Trans Am – Brainerd International Raceway (9/27)
Trans Am – Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, OH (8/15)
Trans Am – Road America, WI (8/29)
Trans Am – Virginia International Raceway, VA (9/27)
Trans Am – NOLA Motorsport Park, LA (10/11)
Trans Am – Circuit of the Americas, TX (11/8)
Trans Am – Daytona International Speedway, FL (11/14)

Ferrari Challenge – Daytona International Speedway, FL (1/25)
Ferrari Challenge – Homestead-Miami Speedway, FL (3/8)
Ferrari Challenge – Sonoma Raceway, CA (4/26)
Ferrari Challenge – Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, QC (6/7)
Ferrari Challenge – Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, ON (7/26)
Ferrari Challenge – Mont Tremblant, QC (9/13)
Ferrari Challenge – Laguna Seca, CA (11/1)

Lamborghini Super Trofeo – Laguna Seca, CA (5/1)
Lamborghini Super Trofeo – Watkins Glen International, NY (6/26)
Lamborghini Super Trofeo – Virginia Int’l Raceway, VA (8/21)
Lamborghini Super Trofeo – Circuit of the Americas, TX (9/17)
Lamborghini Super Trofeo – Road Atlanta, GA (10/1)
Lamborghini Super Trofeo – Sebring Int’l Raceway, FL (11/19)

Seems like a lot of stuff going on, but if you narrow it down by circuits you only get 20 circuits, 17 in the US and 3 in Canada:

Circuit of the Americas, TX
Indianapolis Motor Speedway, IN
Laguna Seca, CA
Sonoma Raceway, CA
NOLA Motorsports Park, LA
Barber Motorsports Park, AL
Mid-Ohio Sporst Car Course, OH
Homestead-Miami Speedway, FL
Daytona International Speedway, FL
Sebring International Raceway, FL
Virginia International Raceway, VA
Road America, WI
Road Atlanta, GA
Miller Motorsports Park, UT
Watkins Glen International, NY
Lime Rock Park, CT
New Jersey Motorsports Park, NJ
Canadian Tire Motorsports Park, ON
Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, QC
Mont Tremblant, QC

And 5 temporary or street circuits, of which 4 are in the US and 1 in Canada:

St, Petersburg, FL
Miami, FL
Long Beach, CA
Detroit Belle Isle, MI
Toronto, ON

Once you take into consideration that many “Pro” events act as support races for other “Pro” events on the same weekend at the same track, the calendar is reduced even further. Therefore further simplification and narrowing down is required.

Second I would use event information to identify the organizers:

They are:

Circuit of the Americas, TX
Virginia International Raceway, VA
Miller Motorsports Park, UT

…and possibly other clubs or tracks that organize their own marshals.

Third I would compile procedural information for each series.

This information includes:

Flag Rules including Light Panel Instructions/Procedures
Full Course Yellow Procedure and Restarts
Communication Guidelines
Response Rules, including vehicle specific info like Hybrid systems kill switches, extinguisher switches, tow procedure, lifting of vehicle, and general differences between open wheel, sports car, or moto events.

Fourth I would compile available supplemental info for each series.

That includes:

Spotter Guides
Vehicle Distinguishing Features Info/Class System
Driver List / Number / Names
Team Information
Series Information, etc.

Fifth and final section I would compile pertinent track information.

General description of each Road Course
General description of each Street Course
Specific information unique to each facility.
Any pertinent information for marshals like morning meetings, locations, lunches, where equipment is kept, flags/fire bottles,  etc.

This is by no means an exhaustive list of information for the “Pro” Marshal’s Handbook, but it is a good outline of where to start. I would envisage that with each year information would be updated as necessary – whether added or deleted. However, all in all it would be a solid point of reference for anyone using the Handbook at any “Pro” event they choose to volunteer without alienating one club over another, one series over another or one circuit over another.

This is also something that does not currently exist.

Day Trip to the Poconos

Wasn’t even sure how to title this post… “Post Card from Pocono Raceway” or “My 34th Track” or, well you can see it: “Day Trip to the Poconos” because it is exactly what it was.

It’s not often that there are events at the Pocono Raceway that take place on Friday’s. Not ones that use volunteers anyway. Although the track is quite famous with NASCAR and IndyCar, marshals aren’t used on the Tri-Oval. The inner track that is carved into this triangle has recently been repaved and improved. So it was nice not only to see how cars (this time from SCCA) run on it, but also to drive it myself at the end of the day.

pocono what turn 4

I must say that at 98 mile drive from my home in New Jersey it is by far the closest circuit to me. And by-far I mean some 8 miles closer than Lime Rock which I consider my home track. Or 45 miles closer than New Jersey Motorsports Park (NJMP) in South Jersey. The neat thing about this track is it’s location. Right off of I80 which means it’s the most direct track to me, without the necessity of snaking along on small country roads which are oh so prone to traffic.

With that out of the way I shall give my first impression of the circuit. And as one would imagine a typical NASCAR oval/tri-oval inner track to be, it is flat and fairly bland. I don’t think much impressed me from the get go. It is in a sense similar to the inner track at Indianapolis Motor Speedway or Daytona International Speedway. I couldn’t fall asleep the night before, so instead of tossing and turning I took a quick shower and hit the road at 2am. Arrived at the main entrance of the track just after 3:40am and took a nap there. It was chilly! But I didn’t feel too tired once I was on the inside. The track sort of reminded me of a visit to Manfeild in New Zealand, kind of a farm feel to it. Lots of wooden structures, barn like garages, etc.

pocono garage

I was stationed at Turn 1 for the practice that Friday morning with one of the local volunteers who normally works for the track manning the gate for big events. She was on comms, I was on flag and we were bored together for the day. It was a good experience overall, and I truly wish there was more happening at this track so I can visit more often. If for nothing else than the convenience of it’s location.

pocono turn 1

Registration open for 2014 Indianapolis events: IndyCar, MotoGP & Tudor Series

I have received an invitation from the United States Auto Club (USAC) to volunteer a few upcoming events at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway this summer. The events include a number of racing series and styles of racing that others may be interested in so I would love to extend the invitation here to marshals reading my blog.

May 8, 9, 10: IndyCar will be running the Road Course of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as one of two events at this venue, the second being the traditional running of the Indianapolis 500 around the oval for which marshals aren’t used. At least not us volunteers.

July 24, 25: Tudor United Sports Car Championship will be run around the Road Course of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway same as the Rolex Series ran it for the past few years. I have participated in this event a few years ago and had a genuinely good time.

August 8, 9, 10: MotoGP will return to Indianapolis Motor Speedway to run the Road Course in the other direction which brings a great deal of spectators to Speedway, Indiana as well as bikers in general to downtown Indianapolis. I’ve done this event for the past two years and the level of enthusiasm from the MotoGP crowd is amazing. Highly recommend.

I would strongly encourage anyone able to or interested in volunteering any of the above mentioned events to go ahead and register. If you need a recommendation I am happy to provide one. Keep in mind that there is a processing fee associated with volunteering for USAC events. However, you get your money’s worth with event branded clothing, a welcoming dinner and the privilege of working at a world class facility.

For more info visit:  http://www.usacworker.com/ or http://www.motogpworker.com/

Post card from the Indianapolis Grand Prix

Greetings from Indy! Another beautiful day at Indianapolis Motor Speedway: the racing capital of the world. This time I’m corner captain at turn 12 working the MotoGP race wirh my buddy Felix from Ohio.

motogp indy 2

motogp indy 3

motogp indy 4

motogp indy 5

motogp indy 6

Not a whole lot happening ar our turn, but the bikes are setting records. A little bored actually but race day is about to commence!

motogp indy 1

motogp indy 1.2

Accepted to the Indianapolis Grand Prix for MotoGP

I’m proud to report that for the second year in a row I’ve been accepted to marshal the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway featuring MotoGP.

My ratio of bikes to car racing is still way skewed towards four-wheels, but I love motorcycle racing and MotoGP is about as good as it gets! In addition, unlike F1 the ultimate series of automotive racing, with MotoGP you respond immediately to a crashed bike without waiting for permission from race control. Adrenaline rush to the max!

Truly looking forward to a great experience at the Brickyard 😉

United States Auto Club – USAC has also send me a training video for the MotoGP, like they did last year. I think its a fantastic idea as it covers in detail the types of flags used, how they are used correctly and in what situations, how to approach incidents, riders, doctors, etc. Very handy tool to refresh my memory when working motorcycle races!

Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix – MotoGP

With both Grand Am racing in Montreal and ALMS at Road America I find myself in Indianapolis for the MotoGP Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix. The atmosphere seemed fantastic, there were tons and tons of bikes throughout the city, and especially at the race track. Because the inner circuit was used, parts of the oval served as parking areas for thousands of bikers.

On track too there was a slew of motorcycle enthusiasts, many of whom were volunteering as flaggers for the first time. It was not your typical SCCA corner worker experience. Granted USAC ran the event and as always I enjoy their hospitality more so than at any other event so far outside of IMS, the experience was just different. Unlike the last time I was volunteering at IMS the course was run in the opposite direction, I found myself on the same station I was last time except it’s changed from turn 10 to turn 7. We were actually on grass, with three flag marshals (two guys from Colorado besides me) and three track marshals who were all employed by IMS. Unlike cars, the crashes were far more spectacular though not much happened at our corner. For Moto2 rider of bike #9 laid his bike down for all three practices over a three day period. Other than that it was just amazing to see how low the bikes go in the turn with the rider hanging over the side.

In terms of getting to the event, I finally flew. After a few month hiatus from flying it was nice to be up in the air again. In the true Flyer Talk spirit instead of paying more to fly direct I booked a cheaper flight from LaGuardia in NYC to Detroit. Initially I thought I made a mistake because fuel prices spiked significantly since the last time I visited Michigan and Indiana, but I lucked out on the car rental. While my original booking was more than $40 a day I managed to reduce it to $17 a day before my flight by booking a Hotwire special. Very happy with that experience as it saved me over $100 just on car rental alone. Anyway, enjoy the facebook pix:

motogp indianapolis 1

motogp indianapolis 2

motogp indianapolis 3

motogp indianapolis 5

motogp indianapolis 6

motogp indianapolis 7


Brickyard 400 Grand Am at Indianapolis Motor Speedway

The second stop on my two thousand mile road trip over a three week period went rather well though very nerve-racking. Now that I’m back in Detroit, I guess I can say things worked themeselves out though I still have a trip to a mechanic coming up first thing Monday morning.

First the problem stemmed from a slow leak that has upgraded to an alarming leak somewhere between Canada and Michigan. Nursing the car all the way to Indianapolis for the race made me more than nervous for all five hours it took to get there. But I made it, and even though it looked like the coolant was gushing out of the system, I made it back to my friend’s house as well.

The race itself was equally nerve-racking. It was perfectly hot weather when I arrived Thursday. The buffet dinner was a welcoming sight, as well as meeting some big wigs at USAC – United States Auto Club that ran the event at the Speedway. However on race day the wather yo yo’ed from hot sunshine to cooling rain throughout the twelve hour schedule. I had to put my wet weather gear on three times or so. Both Continental Tire Challenge and Rolex Grand Am finished under caution, but racing was close and fun to flag. There was lots of blue flagging which I always enjoy.

grand am indy 1

grand am indy 2

grand am indy 3