Year after year I work to make it to as many races as I can manage. I hop in the back seat of some local group’s truck headed across country to the middle of nowhere just to have a chance to work as close to real race cars as I can. At first it was volunteering, usually inspecting rally cars to ensure they were safe to race and adhered to all the regulations. Once I got to know the teams it didn’t take long until I was deemed mechanically competent, thrown the keys to a service van, and told I would be ‘crewing’ for one or more low-rent grassroots rally cars. Year after year I kept coming back, wrenching just to get noticed, co-driving when others offered; paying my dues to the gods of rally. I hoped that one day karma would smile upon me, one day I might be able to see a rally from the driver’s seat.
A few weeks ago I received an e-mail; Rally Tennessee was coming up soon and the organizers were in need of volunteers. They needed help with everything from Corner Marshals (keep spectators under control) all the way up to Zero and Sweep Cars (run the course at race speed before/after competitors).
After crewing and co-driving for Bill Caswell on a few occasions I decided to call in a favor, I knew Bill was friends with Anders Green (RTN’s man-in-charge) so I asked him if he could put in the good word with Anders for my application to run as the Zero Car. Days later, Anders e-mailed me back to confirm I had the job! I thanked both Bill and Anders for the opportunity, and promptly called my co-driver Nick Pegg to celebrate our position.
This weekend I finally get a chance to see a rally from the driver’s seat, I can’t wait!