Tag Archives: verizon indycar

Post Card from IndyCar at Pocono Raceway, The Tricky Triangle

Greetings from Day 2 of IndyCar at the Pocono Raceway… on the Tricky Triangle. What Turn 4?

So this time I’m doing something different, while still volunteering for a Motorsport event, it’s not quite marshaling. But I’m in pit lane, there are race cars around me, I’m happy!

A few weeks ago I worked with a guy from Pennsylvania at Watkins Glen who invited me to come volunteer IndyCar at Pocono… What? I didn’t know we could do that… I thought marshals weren’t needed on ovals… err… triovals.

They are not, but volunteers are always needed. I filled out my application… got a typical cryptic response that made me wonder if I was in or out, and tickets for the event showed up in my mail box a few days before the race. Cool!

The role for this event was: “Customer Service” with Team Pocono. Some would call it a security role, but there were actual security at the event that were hired help and were getting paid for their service. We worked for free, and we were the only ones in pit lane, where you know… it’s actually dangerous.

Our role was to check wristbands and paper tickets of spectators and VIP’s that were roaming around pit lane during all sessions of the event. I didn’t think this was even possible because typically the pits are off limits to spectators at other events I volunteer at. IMSA and F1 have a special Pit Walk for the spectators which is a watered down experience that lasts for about an hour or so primarily designed for spectators to take some close up pictures of cars in pieces and maybe grab an autograph from their favorite driver. Here, the pit lane was open to anyone who was willing to spend the extra money for this pit pass, and it wasn’t that pricey.

In many ways this activity is where IndyCar is most similar to NASCAR rather than other series like IMSA or F1. The other similarity was running the oval which meant there wasn’t to be any racing as soon as the rain hit the forecast. That combined with a time-certain TV schedule meant that despite the scheduled race for today, the feature activity of the weekend, the actual race got moved to Monday because of the rain (even though as usual the morning was nice and sunny with some overcast)… This was the first time I’ve ever had a race postponed to the next day of the week.

The actual role of customer service was really neat. I got to interact with a bunch of spectators, several crew / team members of the pits I was responsible for, and got to see several drivers up close. The first day of my participation I was absolutely rubbish. There was a person smoking nearby who I missed completely, which was one of my responsibilities. People kept on sneaking up towards the pit wall every time I would turn my back, which wasn’t meant to happen. Someone walked in with a beer, which again was a big no no… Someone brought their young kids in, again this wasn’t good. But on the second day I got the hang of it.

As usual we were not allowed to take any pictures of the cars, but I snuck a few selfies in.

indycar at pocono raceway 1

Only British flags were flying on communication antennas in pit lane to commemorate the one year anniversary of Justin Wilson’s death which happened at this event last year sadly.

indycar at pocono raceway 5

First day I worked the “South” pits watching over Alexander Rossi and Tony Kanaan pits. While second day I got bumped to the North pits looking out for Marco Andretti and Takumo Sato. Second day we really had nothing to do. (because of the rain)

indycar at pocono raceway 9

indycar at pocono raceway 10

indycar at pocono raceway 2

I was most impressed with the whole registration process at Pocono. Things were well organized, people were knowledgeable and things went very smoothly. Camping was provided right on the inner course where I had driven once when I volunteered as F&C during an SCCA event.

indycar at pocono raceway 3

Chits for food were provided both days, and food was tasty!

indycar at pocono raceway 6

For the second day there was a car show with some interesting things on display like these Jaguars.

indycar at pocono raceway 7

indycar at pocono raceway 17

For support event we had Vintage IndyCar organized by USAC.

indycar at pocono raceway 18

There were also lots of stock cars and dirt track cars on display very popular in Pennsylvania and among the crowd who were naturally mostly NASCAR fans. The whole weekend had a very low key feel to it, almost like a club event. Not too many people in attendance which made the event feel very open and drivers super accessible.

indycar at pocono raceway 16

indycar at pocono raceway 12

indycar at pocono raceway 13

indycar at pocono raceway 15

indycar at pocono raceway 14

indycar at pocono raceway 11

The days on post were quite long and my feet were burning by the end. Luckily I had enough wet weather gear with me to stay dry when the skies opened up on Sunday.

indycar at pocono raceway 19

As a keepsake we got a pin for participation and a program. Which is more than we normally get while volunteering for F&C.

indycar at pocono raceway 20

indycar at pocono raceway 8

All in all I had a hell of a time and even though I left the track when the rain started because I was not going to camp in the bog that the water created, I’m very much looking forward to the 98 mile drive back there on Monday to finish what I started/signed-up to do.

It was a fantastic experience to be sure!

Post Card from Belle Isle Detroit, Pre-Grand Prix Paddock Tour

Knowing full well how stringent the organizers get giving us (volunteers) paddock and pit access during the event, I went a day early to walk around and get some shots of the unpacking in progress.

I had to sneak onto the island. Our credentials were not to be distributed until later on in the afternoon and since dinner was provided by Detroit Region SCCA it was unlikely that I’d return to Belle Isle Park or even more unlikely that I’d actually see anything there. So having arrived for the event a day early and getting some much needed rest at my friend’s house I ventured down to Detroit downtown bright and early. First stop was visiting the GM Renaissance Center, something I always wanted to do… there on the second floor I found the Detroit Grand Prix offices, with big glass windows showing you what’s going on behind the scenes with all the maps and track plans on display to anyone that walks by.

detroit grand prix paddock walk belle isle 28

I also spotted a cool looking Chevy Caprice Detroit PD car… on the way back to my car I managed to snap a few shots… turns out these cars (about 100 of them) were donated to the city of Detroit, and therefore sport a cool wrap of the city skyline.

detroit grand prix paddock walk belle isle 26 chevy caprice detroit pd

detroit grand prix paddock walk belle isle 27 chevy caprice detroit pd

It was a very beautiful day and an awesome chance to walk along the waterfront of the Detroit River, checking out the views of Windsor, Ontario on the other side. Next Stop: Belle Isle Park.

detroit grand prix paddock walk belle isle 23 belle isle park detroit

I managed to get into the parking lot that I obviously had no legitimate access to, but as security was slack, I got away with it.

detroit grand prix paddock walk belle isle 6 michigan state police

I’ve always been fascinated by the old-school look of Michigan statie’s cars, like this Ford Explorer Police Interceptor.

detroit grand prix paddock walk belle isle 25 we love detroit

detroit grand prix paddock walk belle isle 24 team penske

detroit grand prix paddock walk belle isle 3 aj foyt

detroit grand prix paddock walk belle isle 10 alexander rossi

And then I spotted a Miata a fellow marshal owns it from Canada eh?

detroit grand prix paddock walk belle isle 2 miata

detroit grand prix paddock walk belle isle 1

detroit grand prix paddock walk belle isle 4 indycar

Lots of Chevy’s everywhere…

detroit grand prix paddock walk belle isle 5 camaro

detroit grand prix paddock walk belle isle 7 chevy ss

detroit grand prix paddock walk belle isle 8 chevy camaro

detroit grand prix paddock walk belle isle 9 chevy corvette

detroit grand prix paddock walk belle isle 22 chevy silverado

And then my favorite… the SpeedSource Mazda Prototype Team:

detroit grand prix paddock walk belle isle 12 mazda lmp2

detroit grand prix paddock walk belle isle 13 mazda lola lmp2

detroit grand prix paddock walk belle isle 14 mazda lola lmp2

detroit grand prix paddock walk belle isle 15 mazda lola lmp2

detroit grand prix paddock walk belle isle 16 mazda lola lmp2

detroit grand prix paddock walk belle isle 17 mazda lola lmp2

detroit grand prix paddock walk belle isle 18 mazda lola lmp2

detroit grand prix paddock walk belle isle 19 turner bmw

detroit grand prix paddock walk belle isle 20 turner bmw

detroit grand prix paddock walk belle isle 21 lambo huracan

detroit grand prix paddock walk belle isle 11 michael shank racing

More from the event soon…