After my lifeguarding days, I started to work in motorsports. I would attend an auto race almost every weekend in a different large city across America.
I enjoyed the travel and seeing all of the major cities in the U.S., several times over the years that I worked this job.
When I first started this job, I knew nothing about racing. I had to learn pretty quick because I was given the task of taking VIP guests into the pit and garage areas of these major race tracks and showing them around.
At all of these races, I was given credentials that let me go anywhere around the track, before, during and after the race.
I used this credential to go around and interview people and take notes. I talked with Pit Crew Members, the Goodyear tire specialists, mechanics, the fuel workers and anyone else I thought had some good information for me.
I took all of these notes and wrote out a manual, so to speak. This little pamphlet had all of the important information listed in the order that you would talk about while in the pits and garage areas.
My notes were so good, other companies were asking for a copy of them. I was told by my boss not to give out my notes.
It’s hard not to sound egotistical when I say I was one of the, if not the best, tour guides during my days working in motorsports, but I did have great notes, and was animated and fun during my tours.
Also, my company received lots of emails to my boss saying how good I was and how much they enjoyed the tour.
In this next photo, I am explaining where the driver wants to put his front tire when coming in for a Pit Stop.
The teams don’t want the car too close to the wall, so the Jack Man can use his jack to lift the car. If the car is too close to the wall, it makes it hard on the Jack Man and possibly slows down the Pit Stop.
Also, the teams videotape every Pit Stop to see how they did. The camera is on a yellow pole hanging over the Pit Stall, aimed straight down.
Since it is aimed straight down, you can’t tell what track you’re at. So the teams write on the ground so they know where the footage came from.
In this picture, you see CHI for Chicago.
The VIP guests loved being near all of the race cars and trucks.
Here I am at a race, letting people pose for photos in front of a racing truck.
I gave copies of my notes to my co-workers and told them how to give a good Pit Tour. Soon, they were giving good Pit Tours and it took some of the burden off of me.
My tours were so informative, that I was asked several times if I had been a driver. Some kid even asked for my autograph.
Some people brought their video cams and taped my tours. So there are videos all over America of me talking about racing.
I was told several times, over the years, that I should write a book because I knew so much about racing from my notes.
A Pit Tour Guide book would be fun to write, but I haven’t considered doing that thus far in my life. Also, a lot of information may change from year to year, so I would have to constantly upgrade my notes.
I wish I had kept a Journal, where I had notes about every race I attended. I’d like to read through it and laugh about all of the practical jokes we played on each other while traveling and all the cities I visited.
I have lots of photos, but having the stories would be great because over the years I’ve forgotten so much stuff that happened.
I got to meet a lot of drivers while I was working in this job.
Here I am with Al Unser, Sr. He gave me and my co-workers a ride around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where they race the Indy 500.
After the tours were done for the morning, I would help out in the Hospitality Tent.
Here I am helping a driver while he autographs some things for the guests.
We would hold raffles and give away lots of prizes.
Getting the prizes together was easy. Even though they weren’t for me, spending company money on prizes was always fun.
Over the years, I did amass quite a collection of racing memorabilia.
I sold most of it to a true race fan after I was out of motorsports.
Sometimes, after a race, I would throw out hats to the race fans. They loved free stuff.
Being a lifeguard, then a Tour Guide are the two major jobs I’ve held in my life and both were a blast. I worked these two jobs for almost 25 years and I’m 50 now, so that’s half of my life either swimming or traveling.
I liked lifeguarding because of the tan and bikinis, but traveling all over America is hard to beat.
I got to experience things that many can only dream about. And for that I’m very grateful.
I hope you love your jobs as much as I have loved mine.