Days away from home - 4
Miles drove since leaving home - 1,828
Let’s go Racing!
Who could turn down an opportunity to run with an IndyCar team for a week and help in the garage area and pits? Our adventure started in Saint Louis with two trucks picking us up and I was lucky enough to be in the Western Star “Bandit” that I wrote a blog about. Once we arrived in Portland, we had the trucks washed and then headed for the track where the real work will begin. First order of business is to unload the trailers and set up the tent garages; one tent held two cars, and one tent held the car of Sebastien Bourdais, the drink coolers, and the snacks. Dale Coyne has three trucks and trailers that were used for the races at Portland International Raceway.
Two held the cars and tool boxes and one trailer carries all the equipment for the engineers that keep the truck in tip-top shape. Each day would start at 7:30 at the track and would end between 6:00 and 8:00 in the evening. We walked over five miles each day as we filled in where needed. My job was to keep the coolers full of pop and water in the garages as well as the pits, keep the snacks stocked, sweep the rugs, wipe down tables, dust the trucks, and show off the “Bandit” when people would stop to ask questions.
Bob helped get the tires ready each day for the cars and then helped to clean them back up and take them to Firestone for new tires to be put on the rims. Race day produced a third-place finish for Sebastien Bourdais, Pietro Fittipaldi finished in 9th, and Santino Ferrucci finished back in the pack. We flew home on Monday after the races, tired and still in awe of our fantastic week of racing.
Work, Work, Work
We arrived home Monday night, loaded the truck on Tuesday, and left early Wednesday morning to pick up our first load. It was good to be back home in our truck. One thing we learned quickly is that our truck rides much smoother than a tractor-trailer. With the longer wheelbase and the double frame, we glide over the road compared to the trucks we were in. The Western Star was very quiet though, and like our truck, easy to have a conversation in. After loading in Iowa, we had to wait out a few of the storms as they were producing tornadoes. The last thing anyone wants to see is a truck loaded with explosives flying through the sky!
End of week in Houston
The humidity in Houston was oppressing and when I took Texas for a morning walk at about six, I was immediately covered in sweat. Texas spent a little time playing ball and then wanted back in the truck. The rain this past week has been horrendous and at times had us slowed down to almost a crawl and then we would get through it. As we ended the week in Rockwall, TX we again watched as it rained hard enough we could not see out the windshield. Luckily for us, we are parked until Monday.
While at home, Bob installed our Onspot Automatic Chains and we are ready for whatever mother nature throws at us. Too often we hear “if I have to use chains I am parking it” and I must laugh if they knew how often our chains have saved us. The chains are most often used on off and on ramps to an interstate, on side roads, on a customer’s parking lot, or getting in and out of a truck stop. Too often the roads are cleared and everything else is left to thaw as mother nature sees fit which causes us and everyone else problems. We watch as other drivers get stuck climbing a small hill or work to get out of a parking spot as we deploy our chains and drive off to get onto the cleared interstate. Having our chains is peace of mind and knowing we do not have to get out when the weather is miserable to “throw iron”. Here is hoping for a safe and profitable winter.
We know after the week we had with Daly Coyne Racing that if we are asked to help again both of us will say “yes” before they get done asking. The excitement leading up to race day, everyone acting as a team to get the racecars on the track, the copious amount of work was something we really enjoyed. As long as we can still be a valued part of the team we will do what we can. It was nice to be back in our truck and back to our “normal” of hauling freight.
Wishing you safe travels. Till next time,
Bob & Linda.